Invest in Vacation Paradise: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina looks promising to real estate investors. Here’s what stands out in this market.

Real estate investors know there’s a lot to like about Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The mid-sized southern town has a lot going for it. It offers a growing economy to low cost of living and rewarding quality of life. With remote workers and retirees moving, this tourist destination is now attracting other groups as well.

But is now the right time to invest in Myrtle Beach real estate?

Housing market at a glance

It’s always good to take a wide view and look at the state of the overall U.S. real estate market. Initially, experts were predicting that the nation’s housing market growth would slow in 2022 after a banner year in 2021 (the typical U.S. home rose in value by 19.6 percent in 2021 according to Zillow). Those slower growth predictions are now being revised.

New numbers point to a 2022 market that may be just as competitive as 2021. Zillow is predicting that home values will grow 16.4 percent between December 2021 and December 2022 due to high demand and low inventory. Now is the time to get into the real estate market, but it’s also a time to be selective about which markets work for your investment strategy.

To get the best deals for you, you may need to look outside of your immediate area. Especially if housing prices are high or competition is tight where you live. Myrtle Beach has a lot going for it when it comes to real estate investment. With a 30,000-person strong year-round population that’s attractive to retirees and more than a million tourists yearly, it’s worth investigating.

State of the economy

What Myrtle Beach is best known for is in its name. It boasts 60 miles of sandy beaches that attracts a lot of tourists from around the world. Indeed, building on that tourist charm, it claims itself as the mini golf capital of the world, although it’s probably more famous for its 100 or so regular golf courses to attract everyone from amateurs to pros. Reliably sunny weather makes this an ideal destination for golfers, beach goers, and anyone who likes spending time outside.

Houses in the Myrtle Beach area are increasing in value. As of February 2022, the median list price in Myrtle Beach grew by over 30 percent, according to Zillow. Condos for sale are up from 174 to 212 and about 5,000 new housing permits were added over the past year (as compared with 2,500 the year before), reports Fortune Builders. A relatively low median house price, plus Increased condo listings, and building permits all paint a relatively rosy picture for Myrtle Beach as a strong real estate investment opportunity.

As you might expect in such a tourist-focused town, the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina economy relies heavily on tourism-related businesses. Examples include accommodation and food services, retail trade, and construction, according to DataUSA, which reports the median annual income as $43,200 in 2019. The unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in December 2021, down from 7.7 percent in December 2020, a generally positive sign on the direction of the local economy.

Rents are going up

The average rent in Myrtle Beach is $1,415 according to RentCafe, with the city’s rental prices jumping nearly 20 percent in 2021. A recent report found that Myrtle Beach had one of the highest rent jumps in the state. There’s real demand for affordable rentals in the area, which may be of interest to investors looking to rent their properties.

Myrtle Beach is for retirees

Retirees are choosing Myrtle Beach for a variety of reasons beyond its beaches and golf courses. With three hospital systems in the area, low taxes, an international airport, and a thriving retirement community, there’s a lot of reasons for those who are 55 and up to choose the area. About 15 percent of the population is over 65, according to TopRetirements, which means retirees will have plenty of like-minded friends but also mix with a diverse set of ages and lifestyles.

Historic housing appreciation

Housing prices are rising fast in Myrtle Beach. Redfin found that prices were up 7 percent from last year, a number that is at least partially attributed to people’s desire to live near the ocean and the job location flexibility brought on by the pandemic, according to local realtors, who also pointed to people speeding up their retirement plans due to the pandemic as another reason for the attention to Myrtle Beach real estate.

Myrtle Beach is a great place to live, work, and visit

You’ll never need to make dinner in Myrtle Beach, as the town has about 1,500 restaurants with cuisines ranging from seafood and steaks to takeout sandwiches for a day at the beach. Of course, in keeping with the beach theme, there are waterparks, amusement parks and plenty of water sports opportunities to keep residents and visitors busy. There are plenty of kid-friendly attractions like an aquarium, zoo and trampoline park. And you’ll find nighttime entertainment options from bars to shows and many, many golf courses for the adults.

How to invest in Myrtle Beach

Sundae’s Marketplace offers in- or out-of-state investors an easy way to find as-is properties and close on them fast.

You’ll get access to properties not listed anywhere else. You’ll also be able to see a wealth of information about the properties you’re bidding on. The process is simple, too.

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Erin B

Erin Behan is a writer and editor covering real estate investor strategy for Sundae. She's lived in L.A., New York, and Atlanta and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where she writes and edits for a number of outlets, including WebMD, Farmers Insurance, and Vox Creative. She spends her free time hiking with her two boys, snuggling with her cat, and enjoying the best of the Pacific Northwest.