Apartment Occupancy Plunges in Myrtle Beach

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After ranking as a national leader for apartment occupancy growth in 2021, Myrtle Beach saw its occupied unit count take a dive more recently. Apartment occupancy plunged 530 basis points (bps) year-over-year, landing at 93% in January. That was the deepest dive in occupancy among the largest 150 markets and the ninth-lowest occupancy rate across the nation, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. By comparison, the U.S. occupancy norm stood at 94.8% in January, about 180 bps above the rate in Myrtle Beach. Occupancy in this small coastal market also fell 100 basis points below the South region average and 90 basis points below nearby Charleston. With 60 miles of beaches, Myrtle Beach’s investor interest remains strong. More than 3,200 units are expected to complete in this small market within the next 12 months, pushing inventory up 7.2%. The resort town along South Carolina’s Atlantic coast is also on the radar for build-for-rent investors with one of the five largest projects expected to complete in 2023 under construction in North Myrtle Beach/Conway. Meanwhile, absorption slowed in the current cycle with net move-outs at the end of 2022.