Monday, April 04, 2005

The Sun News | 04/02/2005 | N.C. plan may give only spur to S.C.

The Sun News 04/02/2005 N.C. plan may give only spur to S.C.

Interstate highways to the North and South Carolina Beaches are under construction. Negotiations between the states have altered the final routes several times. Interstate 20 has ended in Florence, SC for too long. Interstate 95 has for too long not had a 195 along the coast. Interstates 73 and 74 are partially built from Michigan to North and South Carolina and the final routes for the final legs are almost set.

North Carolina is doing the best job of getting the roads built. South Carolina is working hard to get the roads built from the North to Myrtle. The challenge of building from Myrtle to Savanna GA is still ahead.

No matter the roads, the best beach and climate are in SC. Nature wins. The slope of the coast line, the gulf stream and other geographic features make Myrtle Beach the place to visit. The new interstates will make it easier to get to NC and SC beaches. Myrtle has been the second fastest growing community of second homes for 30 years or more. The trend continues. Retires enjoy the climate and the number of activities available.

Greenspan has been trying to talk up long-term interest rates and thus mortgage rates. The average home in America went up by better than 8% last year but homes at resort communities such as Myrtle went up by 12% or more. It is Greenspan's hope to moderate the growth in real estate. It is no surprise the the millions of "boomers" who are reaching "second home buying age" are actually buying. The youngest of the "boomers" are 47. Myrtle Beach should experience strong growth for years to come. However, the surge in buying has pushed up the price of everything from mortar to finishing nails. New construction prices have soared. Speculators are making multiple purchases of used properties and marking them up. The early bird gets the worm.

In 1997, Greenspan tried to talk the tech markets into slowing down. As we know, talk was not enough to stop the bubble, but the guys that bought early made a lot of money. Real estate is different but naturally each market is said to be different. The second homes bought by the "boomers" are not likely to be dumped back on the market. They will be used by the "boomers" and their families for years to come and the number of "boomers" owning at the beach will continue to grow.

New roads are important. There are currently hundreds of miles of interstates under construction in North and South Carolina. The boom is underway and these roads will spur further development.

My wife and I have many mixed feelings. We are selling our resort property rental business as per our plan to retire at the age of 55. We plan to keep ownership in at least two ocean front beach properties. We are pleased with the prices we are getting for each condo that we sale. Units just like the ones we sold last year are now selling for $100,000 more! We will continue to sale because we are going to retire. We know that the combination of retiring "boomers" and new interstate highways to Myrtle will increase prices. We have decided not to be too greedy; if we sell this year and find we could have sold for $2 million more next year, so be it. We hope to continue to enjoy visiting Myrtle for years to come.