Horry County’s foreclosure rate drops by nearly 50 percent

sjones@thesunnews.comSeptember 13, 2013 

The pace of foreclosures in Horry County has plunged almost 50 percent in the past year, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure activity nationwide.

At the same time, though, foreclosures climbed 25 percent in Georgetown County, although the overall number is smaller than Horry’s because the Horry market is nearly six times as large as that in Georgetown.

The report said that one in every 1,034 homes in Horry was in foreclosure in August, which RealtyTrac said amounted to a 10 percent rate when considering the total number of housing units.

In Georgetown County, one of every 1,343 homes was in foreclosure in August, a 7 percent rate.

South Carolina also saw an improvement in its foreclosure rate to the extent that it dropped out of the top five states in the nation for foreclosures. The state’s rate of one foreclosure in every 813 housing units was the ninth highest in the U.S. Nevada, which was particularly hard hit by the burst of the housing bubble, had the nation’s highest foreclosure rate with one in every 359 housing units in foreclosure.

Horry’s rate used to be among the state’s highest, but the August rate was far down among the state’s counties. Dorchester County topped the state with one in every 407 housing units in foreclosure.

Horry’s rate ranked second lowest among the state’s five most populous counties.

Additionally , distressed sales in Horry County as a portion of overall home sales have dropped.

Todd Woodard, president of SiteTech Systems, said prices rise as distressed sales fall as a portion of overall sales. He said that distressed sales now account for 17 percent of sales activity countywide versus the 27 percent they were not too long ago.

“In theory, if there were no distressed properties, the (median) price would be around $190,000,” Woodard said. It climbed to $185,000 in August. “But you’ll never have (a time without distressed properties on the market).”

Strand’s condo picture improving

The inventory of distressed condominiums continued a slow decline in August, when the inventory was 6.54 percent below what it was in August 2012, according to a report by SiteTech Systems.

But looking at the year as a whole, the condominium inventory was almost 80 percent below the same time last year, the report said.

The median sales price was up $13,800 in August to $117,000 as compared to $103,199 in August 2012.

Condominiums sold for 91 percent of the asking price in August versus 88 percent a year earlier.

A rosy outlook

A recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that millennials, those under 32 years old, are as a group more confident that their recent home purchase was a good investment than any other age group.

The report said that 85 percent of those in that group were positive about the long-term value of their homes.

But the Strand needn’t worry just because many of its buyers are on the opposite end of the age spectrum. Nationally, 80 percent of all buyers are fiscally confident in their home purchases.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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