Sales of existing homes are down 2% nationwide from where they were this time last year. But that’s not the case here in Mississippi. The latest figures show our housing market is one of the hottest in the country.
Home sales in Mississippi are up more than 15% from this time last year. Jackson Association of Realtors CEO, Cheryl Bullock isn’t surprised. “Across the state as a whole, we’ve enjoyed a very healthy market, even when other parts of the country have seen a decrease,” Bullock says.
Even the storm ravaged Gulf Coast is seeing an increase. The local realtors association says it’s a sellers market in Biloxi and Ocean Springs, where property is scarce and demand is high, sending prices soaring. It’s a similar situation in Hattiesburg, where prices shot up 12 % after Hurricane Katrina.
Despite cooling markets nationally, housing markets in Jackson and other parts of the state have been picking up momentum, even before Katrina. Desoto county is one of the fasting growing counties in the nation. In 2005, more than 39 hundred homes were sold. That’s up 800 homes from the year before.
The Jackson metro area is another hot spot. The 8 counties in central Mississippi showed first quarter increases the last 3 years, with 2100 homes sold so far this year. Bullock says the rest of 2006 should only get better. “This is when people begin to make the transition from one home to another, so we’re going to see some pretty good market activity for the next 3 or 4 months, then there may be a leveling off,” says Bullock.
Bullock credits low interest rates and a healthy economy for boosting Mississippi’s housing market. The state joins Louisiana, New Mexico and Montana at the top of the list.
Housing sales have plunged more than 15 % in 5 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada.