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Delta market stays steady

Long an area where it has been difficult to attract industry, the Mississippi Delta’s housing market historically has been similar to a dependable clock – sure and steady.

While some parts of the state such as the areas just south of Memphis and the suburbs of Jackson saw a surge in housing starts in the 1990s and early parts of this decade, the Delta kept a slower pace. And now that the housing market nationwide has collapsed, that is turning out to be a good thing.

“We’re down a little overall, though right now we’re seeing a little spurt in business,” said Greenville realtor Dottie Collins.

Collins said last Tuesday morning that she had closed on two homes recently that were in the $300,000 range.

“People are still buying, even though the national media is scaring us all to death,” she said. “(Average) prices are down some. My outlook right now is if you get an offer on your house and you want to sell, you need to take it.

“Things are better than people think they are. I’ve had some really nice sales, which people probably wouldn’t expect in the Delta.”

Cleveland Realtor Lynn Pace has seen home sales “hold kind of steady.”

“We do have a lot of houses on the market, because people are moving here and can’t sell their houses back home,” she said of the influx on students and faculty to the Delta State University campus. “The outside area has affected us, which is something most people wouldn’t think about.

”We have loans available and willing sellers. We just need buyers who call sell their houses elsewhere. I’ve always said that the best real estate is in small college towns. Overall, I think everyone would like for it to be a little better. We might have a slow winter, but winters are usually slow anyway.”

Contact MBJ staff writer Clay Chandler at clay.chandler@ msbusiness.com .

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