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krazeeboi

Soaring insurance costs, hurricanes, and coastal growth

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I know this is something we've discussed here and there, but what role do you guys think rising coastal insurance policies will have on growth in SC's coastal areas (Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Charleston, Beaufort, Hilton Head)? I read an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about how soaring insurance costs in Florida have contributed significantly to growth in the Atlanta metro area and thought about how this may affect growth along the SC coast. Might we see a similar situation here in SC, where the growth will start to be directed more inland, away from the coast?

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We might, but I think the reality is that you dont have to get far inland to see a significant price drop. We have barrier islands, less people, and lower hurricane risk in SC, so the impact will be notably less.

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So about how far inland do we see insurance costs decreasing? Apparently that's not a problem in Dorchester County, which has been posting higher population increases than Charleston County in recent years, if memory serves me correctly. In regards to Horry County, maybe we'll begin to see noticeable shifts to Conway?

While SC isn't at as much risk as FL, I would say that we're second most likely in terms of risk along the Atlantic seaboard. The NC coast is at a close third, but due to the topography of its coastline, it doesn't have as much population growth along the coast compared with the rest of the state to begin with.

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I'd say NC is at the #2 position, due to the amount of hurricanes that hit Eastern NC on a regular basis. We get relatively few hurricanes in comparison. Doesn't mean we don't get ANY, of course.

This is a pattern you see a lot when looking at potential hurricane landfall. Note the curve of yellow that covers most of the Lowcountry of SC and GA.

http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/allwarnings2005.gif

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It could be the case that NC is at the #2 position, but they don't have fast-growing coastal areas like we have here in SC, so for all practical purposes as it pertains to this discussion, we're #2 in terms of direct threat to the coastal population. I would also note that our fastest growing metro area, Myrtle Beach, is outlined in red.

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I haven't seen any decrease of growth in the Charleston area. Even Mt Pleasant, which is in a very bad position b/c of how low it is, is still growing, unfortunately, it is mainly suburban type growth, but it is growing nonetheless as is Daniel Island. I think if the National carriers continue to gouge coastal residents, or completely cancel on them, the Fed gov't will step in, like w/ flood insurance, b/c people want to live near the coast. Humans have always lived near the water and always will.

I know for myself, I plan on moving down there in about a year or so, whenever my company get's their office opened up. I know I won't be able to buy as large of a house/condo b/c of the prices and the insurance costs, but that is ok.

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It's not just residential development. Hurricane concerns have inspired some commercial movement as well.

I do think it may be somewhat tempoary though, as the hurricane season was abnormally bad... and people have short memories. And the demand for retirement-type living is going to escalate over the next fifteen years.

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So about how far inland do we see insurance costs decreasing? .....

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