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County sees building permits soar; up 41 percent compared to last year

OLIVE BRANCH — Planners in DeSoto County say July’s brisk pace for building permits is a hopeful sign for the local economy. County deputy planning director Tom Haysley tells The Commercial Appeal that the housing industry is cautious about identifying the spurt as a trend but records show more permits are being issued for subdivision development. In July, 91 single-family ...

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Aldermen scrap revamping of building codes due to budget woes

OCEAN SPRINGS — Aldermen have decided not to spend money for an update to the codes that govern how the city of Ocean Springs will develop. The Sun Herald reports the cost was $25,000 to hire a professional to go through the city’s zoning and other codes to make them better at protecting the city’s look and development. But even ...

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Coast home prices reach three-year high

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The average sales price of a home in South Mississippi in June reached its highest level in three years, a sign that the Coast real estate market is following the national trend upward. According to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service, homes and condos sold on average for $134,721 in June. That was up $8,000 ...

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Arlington owner makes surprise court appearance; pleads guilty

NATCHEZ — Historic Arlington owner Dr. Tom Vaughan of Jackson made a surprise appearance in Natchez Municipal Court and pleaded guilty to failure to maintain property. Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem Tony Heidelberg tells The Natchez Democrat Vaughan did not show up for his actual court date on July 1. Heidelberg said Vaughan told him Monday that he thought he ...

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FNC index: U.S. housing prices were up again in May

OXFORD — The latest FNC Residential Price Index (RPI) shows that U.S. home prices continue to steadily improve, climbing another 0.5 percent in May in conjunction with continued improvement in housing market fundamentals. Notably, the FNC RPI shows that the pace at which home prices are rising is rather modest, averaging 0.4 percent per month in the last six months. ...

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Housing authority looking to cut workweek to four days

LELAND — The director of the South Delta Regional Housing Authority is proposing a four-day workweek for employees. The Delta Democrat Times reports Patricia Logan presented the idea to SDRHA’s board. Logan wants to switch the agency’s 30 employees to a 10-hour-a-day, four-day-a-week schedule from the current five eight-hour days. Logan says the agency’s budget has been squeezed by federal ...

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City's new rental property ordinance gets opposition from landlords

PEARL — Tensions are high in Pearl over a new ordinance related to rental property. The Clarion-Ledger reports the city is requiring existing rental properties to have sprinklers in case of fires. It also mandates landlords add warning sirens, a telephone or text emergency warning system that would notify tenants in emergencies, and storm shelters capable of withstanding an EF2 ...

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County's assessed value of property nears high-billion dollars

PURVIS — With solid growth for the past 20 years, the assessed value of property, homes and other assets in Lamar County is approaching the half-billion dollar mark, continuing to bolster county revenue. The Hattiesburg American reports the county’s current assessed valuation, the total of taxable property, stands at over $498 million, up more than $7 million from 2012. In ...

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Group says purchase of historic home should wrap up this fall

VAIDEN — Organizers say the acquisition of Cotesworth as a cultural and heritage landmark should be complete by late fall. The Greenwood Commonwealth reports state Sen. Lydia Chassaniol, R-Winona, told Carroll County supervisors this week that with the help of $2 million from Legislature and private donations, the ancestral home of 19th century U.S. Sen. J.Z. George will be purchased, ...

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