America is in a housing recession, but foreign private equity investors are keeping Myrtle Beach hot.

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Inflation currently runs nationally as high as 8%. Interest rates are rising. Rising interest rates dramatically affect single-family home sales.

As Fox Business reported this past week:

Confidence among builders in the U.S. housing market plunged more than expected in August to the lowest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as painfully high inflation and rising borrowing costs forced potential buyers to pull back.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which measures the pulse of the single-family housing market, fell for the eighth consecutive month to 49, marking the worst stretch for the housing market since the 2008 financial crisis.

Any reading above 50 is considered positive; the gauge has not entered negative territory since a brief – but steep – drop in May 2020. 

The index has fallen considerably from just one year ago, when it stood at 80. It peaked at a 35-year high of 90 in November 2020, buoyed by record-low interest rates at the same time that American homebuyers – flush with cash and eager for more space during the pandemic – started flocking to the suburbs.



Foreign owned private equity firms now make up as much of one third of investments in new home sales. Condos and rental property construction lead those efforts.

Housing used to be a very stable asset class and now it’s extremely volatile,” Glenn Kelman, CEO at Redfin, told Yahoo Finance. “One reason is that institutions used to account for about a quarter of the sales, but now it’s about a third. You have real estate investment trusts (REITs) all active in the single family home market.

For homebuyers wondering why it’s harder to win a bid, it may have something to do with the fact that they’re not bidding against another family, but instead an institutional investor.

An Investment Buyer is going to price ahead of the market and mark it down every week until it sells [and] makes the market more like the stock market, more volatile, more up and down,” Kelman said. “If you’ve lived in a house for 30 years and raised your kids there, there’s no way you’re going to mark it down after two weeks on the market.

The average ($598,200) and median ($366,100) existing-home sales prices among international buyers were the highest ever recorded by NAR – and 17.7% and 4.1% higher, respectively, than the previous year. The increase in foreign buyer prices partly reflects the increase in U.S. home prices, as the monthly average existing-home sales price rose to $374,300, up 10% from the prior period. At just over $1 million, Chinese buyers had the highest average purchase price.

China and Canada remained first and second in U.S. residential sales dollar volume at $6.1 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively, continuing a trend going back to 2013. India ($3.6 billion), Mexico ($2.9 billion), and Brazil ($1.6 billion) rounded out the top five.

These indicators may change the types of properties being built along the Grand Strand, but it appears the housing market will continue to be bullish for the next 24 months, especially in rental property construction and sales.

Horry County is operating in a global world market now, like most of America.

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