Carolina Forest dwelling costs climbing steadily

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CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WBTW) — Three-bedroom single-family homes in Carolina Forest are now more than $300,000 as the median sales price in March for all homes in the neighborhood was $367,000, according to Coldwell data released Friday Banker.

Median selling prices have increased from the median of $271,000 in March 2021, an increase of 35% over 12 months.

The average list price for a home in Carolina Forest in March was $519,000, which means the average selling price will continue to rise. The main reason for skyrocketing home prices is the fact that March home listings are down 56% from February, while the number of units sold is up 52%.

Wendy Hodges, a broker at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, said the numbers show how competitive and fast the housing market is right now.

“These prices have gone up really drastically,” Hodges said.

Hodges has sold homes in Carolina Forest for the past two decades, and she said the area is popular for its location and schools. Hodges added that first-time home buyers may struggle to navigate the current market because of the power cash buyers have.

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“It would be difficult to find a property that you could afford,” Hodges said. “You would probably have to look at a condo, and then a lot of condos get bought by investors.”

Tom Fazio lives in Carolina Forest in a home he bought for $395,000 nearly five years ago. He said a conservative estimate of the home’s value today is $500,000.

“I would say prices have probably only skyrocketed in the last year or two,” Fazio said.

Fazio said he pushed his son to move to Carolina Forest from New York two years ago when house prices in the area were in the $200,000 range, indicating the area’s affordability. He said his son hasn’t gone down yet as property prices are as high as they are.

“This area would be unaffordable for him,” said Fazio.

Fazio said his son needs to find a home outside of Carolina Forest at the right price.

“Now you’re looking more towards Conway or moving away from prime areas that are closer to the beach,” Fazio said.

As home prices rise, so do 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates of just over 5%. Fazio said young, first-time buyers are often overpriced.

“I wonder how people can afford that at these high prices at a young age,” Fazio said.