MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Home sales in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest were down 20% in June compared to June 2021, according to data from Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage.

In North Myrtle Beach, home sales were down 34% this past June.

Troy Jones, a broker with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, said the housing market is still strong despite the dip in sales.

“Even though home sales are down, I think that home prices have definitely made up for it as far as what’s selling,” Jones said.

June’s figures follow a trend that started this spring. Jones said low inventory is mostly to blame while high inflation and rising interest rates are compounding the slide.

“I think there’s still some uncertainty within the last month or so especially as you see interest rates, inflation, and some of those changes,” Jones said. “But, as a whole, we have less inventory than we’ve had in many years.”

He said the number of homes for sale in the local market is about 25% of what it was before the pandemic.

Joey Von Nessen, a research economist at the University of South Carolina, predicts interest rates will keep rising, limiting affordability for prospective buyers.

“Well right now, it’s going to be more challenging for buyers than it is for sellers and that likely will be true for the next several months,” he said.

Von Nessen did point to increasing inventories in recent months as a sign of potential relief coming for homebuyers months down the road.

Jones said the local housing market is going through a correction which will favor buyers using loans to close on homes. Those buyers were often priced out of the market by cash buyers who could offer thousands over asking price.

“I think things are seeing a little bit of a correction, a little bit of leveling out, which is a really good thing for the people that have been waiting and competing against other buyers really actively,” Jones said.

Jones said the correction should also bring with it a return to a more normal housing market where homes spend enough time on the market for buyers to scope them out before they’re swooped up. Jones said the market will be allowed to breathe again.

One part of Horry County bucking the trend is Conway, as home sales there in June were 14% higher than June 2021.