By JACK WEATHERLY
Both sides in the residential real estate market in central Mississippi are getting what they want.
First, the seller’s side.
Pending sales were up 53.9 percent last month, compared with a year earlier, according to the Central Mississippi Realtors Association.
And sellers got 95.4 percent of their listed price, with the average stay on the market of 114 days.
While demand was up nicely, affordability gained, with the median sales price dropping 10.8 percent to $146,750, according to the CMRA’s report on the 10-county area.
In the three-county core of the area, Madison County led with a median sales price of $198,500, followed by Rankin, at $155,000 and Hinds ad $110,000.
National Association of Realtors President William E. Brown said that “the prospect of higher mortgage rates and more home shoppers in coming months should be enough of an incentive for those serious about buying to start their search now.”
The Consumer Confidence Index for the nation reached a 15-year high in December. While it dipped last month, “consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco of the Conference Board, which publishes the Confidence Index.
Both national and Southern median sales prices for a previously owned home in the fourth quarter compared with the year-earlier period were up – 5.7 percent to $235,000 and 7.9 percent to $210,000, respectively, according to the national association.
Previously owned houses comprise about 90 percent of the total market.
The house market has continued to climb out of the crater caused by risky subprime loans, bundling of “toxic” mortgage-backed securities. The collapse started in the middle of the first decade of the century and reached its nadir in 2012.
It shook the nation’s financial foundations and led to a protracted recession, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.