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Monticello Park Apartments are in Myrtle Beach. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Try finding an apartment in Myrtle Beach and you may be out of luck.

Some property managers in the Myrtle Beach area said their apartment complexes were at 100% capacity, or close to it. 

Connie Luke, community manager at Latitude at the Commons, said she frequently has to tell people its full and “feel(s) bad saying no all the time.”

“This has been 100% occupied,” Luke said. "I’ve never seen that in 11 years. We do have a waitlist. Right now we have four people on it.”

Luke said demand surged after the pandemic, as did Adam Foster, property manager at SeaPath on 67th Avenue North. 

“It took an uptick since the pandemic ended,” Foster said. “We have a few units that are on lease, meaning they’re full now but they’ll be available in August or September.”

Foster attributed the inventory shortage to “a variety of things.”

“We have limited availability and I’ve seen that across the market,” he said. “I think the housing market has a certain impact. People can work from home now and people want to move to our area.”

Luke said development seemed to drive a lot of clients to her complex.

“New people (are) coming in,” she said. “Some are selling their homes, but most are moving from out-of-state.”

Last week, two other apartment managers told My Horry News they were at full capacity.

“It’s been going off the wall for probably the last two months,” said Larry Partridge, manager of Patriot’s Way at the Beach, adding he has a 30-person waitlist. “Spring is usually a busy time of year, but this year it’s even moreso.”

Donna Ives, property manager of the Section 8 facility Sandygate Village, observed a similar phenomenon. 

“There’s always a high demand, since we’re income based,” said Ives. “But there’s more demand and we’ve generated a lot of walk-ins lately. I think it’s people can’t find housing in the area that’s affordable.”

Inventory is the latest rental challenge to hit Myrtle Beach.

Affordability ranks high on the list, as 56% of renters are cost-burdened or severely cost-burdened according to a report by the city and Habitat for Humanity. (Cost-burdened refers to individuals paying more than 30% on rent, while severely cost-burdened pay more than 50%.)

The report also found that less than 15% of Myrtle Beach workers lived within city limits and one in five commute at least 50 miles each way.

Development has impacted this front as well, with a 112% increase in households making at least $150,000 annually contributing to rent hikes.

“Higher income households can put upward pressure on prices and rent,” the report stated, “placing housing further out of reach for those with more modest incomes.”

You can reach Jonathan Haynes securely over Signal at 910-679-6902, send him encrypted files through Keybase at https://keybase.io/jonathanhaynes, or contact him via email at jonathan.haynes@myhorrynews.com

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