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Housing market looks good

As you might have read on the front page of our paper this week, the economy is still in the tank, and there are many who believe it will continue to get worse before it gets better.

Having said that, there are some numbers that are in direct contradiction with rising unemployment and a national housing market that is still in shambles.

The Mississippi housing market is looking pretty good, particularly in the Jackson-metro area.

Pending sales have gone up every month this year in the metro area with 932 in June.

Completed sales have also risen every month this year with 517 in June.

The June number of sales is up 17.4 percent from May while maintaining a high number of pendings that will close in July and August.

And the market has been pretty stable with the total listed properties having ranged from 3,942 in March to 4,027 currently.

“Both the volume of sales and the prices are down significantly from this time in 2008,” says John Jenkins, president of the Jackson Association of Realtors. “ But, the market appears to be improving.”

Jenkins went on to say that the City of Madison continues to outperform the averages significantly in number of sales, median and average prices.

Other areas outperforming the averages are Clinton and Ridgeland  (in average and median price, but not volume of sales), Northeast Jackson, Byram and Brandon (both the city and reservoir areas).

Although most of the statistics are still below 2008 levels, the Brandon (reservoir – 39047) area showed an increase in average and median price over 2008, but a decrease in the number of sales.

Unfortunately, because of the national housing crisis, many buyers believe they are going to get the deal of the century.

“I have had many Realtors indicate that some buyers are making low offers, 15 percent to 25 percent below list price, in an attempt to ‘get a deal,’” Jenkins said. “Most sellers have already reduced prices to near current values, so these low offers tend to anger the seller and often prevent the negotiation process.”

Statistics indicate that the sale price as a percentage of list price in the three metro counties is 95 percent to 96 percent.

Of course, some homes are over priced and some sellers are distressed, but the majority of homes are priced according to today’s market, according to Jenkins.

 All of this leads us to conclude that the Mississippi housing market just isn’t as bad as the rest of the country.

The numbers don’t lie.

At the end of May, pending sales were at 899, up from 587 from the same date last month — that’s more than a 300 percent increase from the prior month.

And all of this information is in agreement with statements Jenkins made to us earlier in the year, when he said, “ I’m of the opinion that the Jackson area market has pretty much bottomed out.

“We believe it is an excellent time to purchase a house, because prices always increase during the spring and summer months. Of course, complete recovery is a long-term process, and the job market is weak, but the Jackson area never realized the dramatic price increases that many other markets experienced. I’ve personally noted several neighborhoods and price ranges where marketing periods are under four months for sold properties. So, Jackson does not have the high inventories of listed properties that many regions have.”


Contact MBJ managing editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or by calling (601) 364-1018.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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