Real Estate News

Myrtle Beach area home sales increased 15.6 percent in 2015

Myrtle Beach Realtors are optimistic about the real estate market for 2016.
Myrtle Beach Realtors are optimistic about the real estate market for 2016. The Sun News

Home sales in the Myrtle Beach area were up 15.6 percent for 2015, a continuation of steady increases over previous year sales that suggests the Grand Strand real estate market remains on steady ground.

Sales statewide were up nearly 11.7 percent, and 12 percent for the entire coastal Carolina region, which Realtors hope will carry over into 2016.

Nick Kremydas, CEO of South Carolina Association of Realtors, said “sustainable” is the word to define their hopes for this year.

“Overall, Realtors are pretty optimistic about the new year and don’t want the roller coaster ride of the 2000s, but we’re expecting a normal, solid, real estate market with healthy gains and healthy sales,” Kremydas said.

“Builders are starting to build again, prices continue to climb, days on the market continue to shrink, and that is almost exclusively tied to the limited inventory we are dealing with in our state,” Kremydas said.

People are out buying again, which is great.

Chip Abernethy of The Lachicotte Co.

In 2015, 6,833 homes in Horry County were sold compared to 5,911 in 2014 and 5,371 in 2013, according to Site Tech Systems.

The median sale price of homes in the Myrtle Beach area rose from $180,413 in 2013 to $203,000 in 2015, Site Tech Systems reported.

Chip Abernethy of The Lachicotte Co. said prices aren’t rising too quickly, a good sign that the market is stabilizing.

“We’re finally starting to see more builders come back into the market and put more inventory into the market,” Abernethy said. “People are out buying again, which is great.”

“Everything seems to have stabilized so that will help us this year,” Abernethy said.

Property sales slumped along the Grand Strand and statewide in the last two months of 2015, a pattern that Kremydas says is the typical cycle for real estate.

The drop also is a result of additional federal requirements implemented in October as part of the Dodd-Frank financial law that extended closing times beyond the typical 30-day window.

15.6 percentIncrease in home sales in the Myrtle Beach area in 2015

“Real estate is cyclical and we’ve entered into a normal real estate market when spring and summer are busy and fall and winter slows down,” Kremydas said. “We got spoiled for a long time.”

For December, home sales in the Myrtle Beach area were down 5.5 percent compared to December 2014 and condo sales were down 1.7 percent in the same time period.

The number of homes and condominiums sold statewide was down 3.5 percent in November compared to November 2014 sales, according to the South Carolina Association of Realtors.

The coastal Carolina region that includes the Myrtle Beach area was down more than 9 percent from sales reported in November 2014 -- that’s 732 homes sold in November 2015 versus 808 sold in November 2014.

“November numbers were in line with last year’s numbers -- I’m not saying it was great, but they were steady,” said Lee Hewitt of Garden City Realty.

Hudson can be reached at 843-444-1765

Twitter: @AudreyHudson