Myrtle Beach is now a popular spot for DC-area house hunters

With mortgage rates the highest they’ve been in more than two decades and D.C. area home prices at record highs, more potential buyers are looking elsewhere — places where their money will go farther. One of those spots is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Redfin reports Myrtle Beach made it onto its list of most popular migration destinations for the first time on record, and the town is the 9th-most popular destination for relocating homebuyers, with people most commonly moving from the D.C. and New York areas.

“Myrtle Beach attracts a lot of retirees. Baby boomers are a very large generation, and they are approaching retirement age,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

The median price of a home in Myrtle Beach is about $360,000, according to Redfin, compared to more than $600,000 in the D.C. metro area. It’s also attractive for low property taxes, golf courses and sunny weather.

A large share of potential homebuyers in the D.C. region in general, not just those approaching or in retirement, are looking outside of the area.

Based on Redfin online searches in July, 19% of home searches from buyers here in the D.C. area were locations elsewhere. But not necessarily far out of the region. Redfin said the top destination based on searches from its users in the D.C. area in July was Salisbury, Maryland.

“People are tending to look for places where they can get a single-family home, a place that is good to raise kids and that is still in a price range that they can afford on their salaries. For remote workers, that opens up a lot of opportunities a little bit further out from the D.C. area,” Fairweather said.

Salisbury, with a population of over 33,000 people and an average home price of about $241,000 according to Zillow, is a short drive to Ocean City or the Chesapeake Bay. It’s the largest city in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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