The $50,000 spread between the median price of an existing single-family home that sold in the Myrtle Beach area in February and a newly-built one draws attention, for sure.
“That’s a big number,” said Jamie Broadhurst, president of Century 21 Broadhurst.
But to draw any other conclusion from the numbers is speculation, any of which could be totally right or totally wrong.
SiteTech Systems reported in its February market watch that the median price paid for a new home in Horry County was $222,000 during the month while existing homes coaxed just $175,000 from buyers, a difference of $47,000.
While a noticeable number, it’s a $10,000 per home improvement in the spread from February 2014, according to the report, when new homes had a median price of $227,935 as opposed to $170,750 for existing homes.
Year-to-date, the spread was just $5 short of $50,000 this year versus $55,000 for the same two months last year, SiteTech said.
Overall, the company reported that single-family home sales volume was up 11.7 percent from 2014 to 2015. The median price for all homes, new and existing combined, was $189,500 in February, relatively flat from February 2014, and 5.3 percent above January 2015.
Sales in the area’s weak condominium market fell 14.4 percent in the February-to-February comparison but the median sales price this year was $108,000, 6.9 percent above that of February 2014.
Site-Tech said that 69 percent of the homes that sold in the area during February were existing while the remaining 31 percent were newly-built, a statistic that has changed little in three years.
From there, said Broadhurst, it’s pretty much a matter of the market and what buyers want.
If they can get a brand new home for not much more, relatively speaking, than what they would have to pay for a comparable existing home, many are going to choose the new home. And if some builders are offering bare-bones new homes cheaper than most existing homes, a lot of buyers would prefer that.
In the end, he said, the current Grand Strand home market is a good one, and the same principles apply now that would apply in almost any home-buying decision.
“It think it’s a question of price point and value,” he said, “more than anything else.”