With an impressive 2,876 miles of tidal coastline and 165 miles of beaches, South Carolina is one of the country’s best destinations to own a beach vacation home. Of course, a waterfront home — wherever it might be — often comes with a steep price tag. But according to a recent survey by Realtor.com, if you’re looking for a beach house in the Palmetto State that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, you should check out the listings in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The vacation resort ranks fifth on Realtor.com’s list of most affordable beach towns after destinations such as Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. Realtor.com also points out on its website that Myrtle Beach is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, luring new residents with mild year-round temperatures, low taxes, and affordable homes.
"Tourism defines the metro area's economy, with the leisure and hospitality sector driving employment," George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com, told Travel + Leisure. "Myrtle Beach has experienced an active housing market over the past year, with strong demand and tight supply pushing prices higher."
And while real estate prices in vacation communities across the country have skyrocketed in the past two years, the median price for residences in Myrtle Beach reached about $390,000 in May 2022. This is a 22 percent gain from the previous year, but it is still much cheaper than Isle of Palms, for example, a barrier island in South Carolina, where the median home price in February was $1,325,000.
Ratiu points out that Myrtle Beach attracts many out-of-state residents looking for second homes. He explained that 67% of buyers come from cities such as Washington D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Boston. Thanks to an airport that services 10 airlines and connects the town to more than 50 destinations via non-stop flights, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and Cleveland, Myrtle Beach is easily accessible, especially for those who frequently fly back to the Northeast or Midwest.
Dreamy beaches aside, the area is also home to many golf courses, excellent restaurants offering the freshest seafood, theaters, amusement parks, and shopping that attracts visitors of all ages. And with an endless list of water activities that include sailing, fishing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding, Myrtle Beach is a magnet for vacationers.
Condos are the most popular type of vacation home here, according to Sara Boling, a broker associate at Century 21. She noted that access to the beach and a community pool are the most popular amenities for potential buyers.
"Inventory is hyper-local even down to the streets, neighborhoods, and condo buildings," Boling told T+L. "Some streets, neighborhoods, and condo buildings have zero properties for sale, and some have a handful. As a market whole, inventory is still low, but we are seeing an increase in properties for sale. Our company's listing inventory has increased by 15 percent year-to-date compared to 2021."
With more than 200 days of sunshine annually, Myrtle Beach is actually the perfect year-round vacation destination. In the winter, average temperatures reach between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing for plenty of outdoor activities and walks, minus the summer season crowds. Many of the town's major attractions, such as Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, and restaurants and bars are open year-round, so your vacation here doesn't end at Labor Day.
Myrtle Beach is actually the only South Carolina destination on Realtor.com’s list of affordable beach house destinations, which you can find here.
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