Survey: Coastal Carolinas is where people want to move

sjones@thesunnews.comApril 18, 2014 

People moving to North Carolina and South Carolina since 2007 typically have become older; more interested in living in small, historic towns in a coastal region and more often are searching for townhouses, condos and apartments with walking paths and nearby shopping and plan to invest less than they would have six years ago.

The statistics come from the most recent Carolina Lifestyle Survey, a joint effort of the Center for Carolina Living and in collaboration with the Brandon Agency, headquartered in Myrtle Beach.

The new arrivals rank Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Raleigh and Charlotte highest in the two states, according to the survey of 12,000 families.

“As Americans emerge from a deep recession, everyone in the tourism and shelter industries are seeking current intelligence on attitudes, motivations and preferences,” Patrick Mason, co-founder of the Center for Carolina Living, said in a press release. “With infrastructure and customer acquisition costs rising, there is not room for errors in location, price and design these days.”

The rise in desire for smaller, cheaper residences is notable, but most planning to move to the Carolinas are still seeking single-family homes, the survey found.

The planned investment in lot and home fell in all but one price range near the top and the three at the bottom. The most recent survey showed a surge in the percentage of people who want to spend from less than $80,000 up to $149,000, the range of the three bottom categories, and a slight increase of those planning to spend between $1 million and $1.5 million.

All other planned spending categories declined between the 2007 survey and the one conducted in 2012 and 2013.

The latest survey showed that 74 percent plan to relocate from outside the Carolinas and that 68 percent have set dates to come check out the possibilities. Most will be in the 50 to 62 age category and have at least some college education.

The list of activities they are looking for is topped by walking and shopping. Golf dropped from 11th to 13th in the two surveys.

Insurance reform

Randy Harrison of Harrison Realty Co. in Surfside Beach has some good news for South Carolina homeowners.

Harrison, who is the current president of South Carolina Realtors, said he believes the General Assembly will pass the association’s No. 1 goal, insurance reform, this year.

Realtors spoke with legislators at a reception in Columbia last week, and Harrison said Friday he’s pretty sure the bill will get through this session. He said it will bring more competition into the state’s insurance market and require the state insurance commission to have information to help consumers make insurance decisions.

The bill passed the Senate on Thursday, and Harrison believes it will be well received and passed in the House before the end of the session.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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