We recently spoke with Jessica Foster, a local writer at Sun News about the real estate market. Her article below shows how more and more people are becoming less likely to move in the near future. Although we are still seeing people purchase property, the numbers are obviously down!
Our website allows us to speak with numerous buyers from across the country that are searching for property in the Myrtle Beach area. Many of them would like to move, but the problems with their local real estate market do not make the move possible. When you factor in the current economy, it looks worse. Hopefully, the New Year will bring a glimmer of hope with it!
Economy Cramps Urge to Move
One more symptom of the sluggish housing market: Fewer people are moving these days, a new study shows.
Only 11.9 percent of the U.S. population moved between 2007 and 2008, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. That's the lowest percentage since the 1940s, when the Census Bureau started publishing statistics on the topic.
"It's a bad time to sell a house. ... With a worsening economy, it's going to be a bad time to buy a house. People simply can't get credit," said Richard Morin, senior editor with the Pew Research Center. "The poor housing market is keeping people in their homes for longer periods of time."
It's a complaint echoed time and again among local Realtors, that people want to move to the area but can't sell the homes they have now.
"I think there's a lot of people that want to move, but the problem they're having is they can't sell what they have," said Murrells Inlet Realtor Preston Guyton. If traffic on his Web site is an indicator, some people have even given up looking at real estate until the outlook improves, he said. Guyton used to get about 100 hits a day, but in the past several months, that number has dropped to about 30 or 40 hits a day, he said.
The drop in migration, however, has been a long-term trend that started in the 1960s, when the annual migration rate was about 20 percent, the report said.
The reasons: There are more two-career couples, which makes moving tougher; also, the lack of jobs in today's economy has stifled the amount of relocations for work purposes.
The U.S. population is aging as well, and older people are less likely to move than younger people - unless they're retiring. Retirees are one force that's fueling the population growth in the South, Morin said.
South Carolina saw a net influx of about 143,000 people in 2007; North Carolina grew by about 285,000 people, the report said. States such as New York, California and Michigan had more people leave than move in.
Carolina Station on hold
It could be a while before dirt starts to move on the 6,200-acre site near Longs where the Carolina Station development is to go, said Mike Wooten of DDC Engineers, the firm designing the project for the landowner, International Paper.
"It's on hold until the economy turns around," Wooten said this week. "They finished their master planning effort and stopped work at that point."
Horry County Council gave International Paper Realty Corp. permission to move forward with the 13,800-unit development in July, and it was scheduled to be built over 30 years.
Wooten said it's unclear when work will begin on roads and water and sewer systems.
"Nobody has any confidence in the economy right now. When the confidence returns, then things will begin to move forward again," he said.
International Paper officials could not be reached. Its third-quarter earnings report showed net earnings declined to $149 million, down from $217 million in the same quarter last year.