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Carolina Forest complex sells for $64M as Myrtle Beach-area housing demand rises

Horry County’s ascending rental market has attracted the attention of a real estate giant, which last week closed on a $64 million deal to acquire property inside Carolina Forest.

Harbor Group International, a Virginia-based firm boasting $20 billion worth of investments, announced the acquisition of Artisan Carolina Forest on its website Aug. 25.

“With affordable rents relative to other high-growth coastal cities, Myrtle Beach is one of South Carolina’s most attractive multifamily markets,” Yisroel Berg, Harbor Group International’s chief investment officer for multifamily properties, said in a statement. “As a newly developed luxury community, we anticipate substantial opportunity to attain a strong renter base at Artisan Carolina Forest and achieve steady rent growth as the area continues to attract new residents.”

As of Sept. 4, average rent in the Myrtle Beach market was $1,601 — nearly double what prices were in March 2020.

In the 2020 fiscal year, Horry County saw building permit revenues jump by 12% year-over-year, to $7.1 million.

And in 2021, the county issued 4,917 permits for single-family homes — up from 3,312 a year earlier.

As a way to compensate for the growth, higher impact fees, which are levied at the front end of construction to help offset the cost of new services, are almost a certainty, county leaders have said.

Since July 2021, fees have been set between $738 and $1,797 for commercial construction, and between $1,031 and $1,236 for residential — a policy that’s generated nearly $55 million to help pay for new growth. And that doesn’t include additional costs for emergency management, recreation, storm water and transportation.

Rents at Artisan range from $1,526 to $2,327 with an average of $1,764.

Located off S.C. Highway 31, Artisan is adjacent to The Marketplace at The Mill, a Publix-anchored shopping center.