Mississippi has experienced its challenges over the years, especially when it comes to the economy and Mother Nature. But the Mississippi real estate market is showing improving signs of recovery, despite tough economic realities.
Homes in South Mississippi along the Gulf Coast, which was all but destroyed by Hurricane Katrina are selling at a faster clip than a year ago. Home values have begun to show signs of a recovery as demand for housing strengthens. The average price of a home in Biloxi is under $200,000 for the properties that are selling.
As the region works to recover from Katrina and the real estate downturn federal programs are helping it rebuild. Home sales are projected to pick up boosted by low mortgage rates through the course of the year. Average home prices are forecast to increase a modest 3.0% in Biloxi by years end.
In Gulfport, the market is seeing better days for home sales. Values shot up during the first part of the year and as demand rises, home prices are projected to rise an average of 2.1% for the year. Near record low mortgage rates are driving especially first time home buyers to make purchases.
The foreclosure crisis reached record levels in Jackson, the states largest metro area, but a surplus of property is slowly being purchased and the market is starting to show signs of progress. Home values aren’t expected to recover in Jackson for sometime as a result of the foreclosure crisis, but the over abundance of homes listed for sale is moving in the right
direction as investors and first time buyers pick up deals.
Vacant homes are scattered throughout Jackson, already left by mortgage holders who could no longer afford to make mortgage payments. The north side of Jackson experienced a massive growth spurt during the real estate bubble, only to see thousands of new homes go into foreclosure.
Jackson home prices aren’t forecast to drop as much as earlier in the year as the local economy makes slow but sustained progress. Average home values are forecast to decline 3.1% in 2012.
In smaller Hattiesburg, the region is still working through growing pains from the lack of adequate infrastructure because of its mini-boom in home building following Katrina. The population grew by almost 10,000 residents following the storm, but a lack of jobs drove many new residents to leave the area to seek employment elsewhere. Hattiesburg home sales are projected to rise during 2012 on forecast deflation of 2.8%.