DECEMBER 12TH, 2018

Mississippi Mortgages

The state of Mississippi has had some rough times as of late. The economy in the state is not as robust as other states, and the housing market is influenced heavily by the economic fluctuations. As a useful indicator for the economic conditions in a state, the US census statistics are often used to compare and contrast economic trends from state to state. The US census data from 1999 showed Mississippi had 19.9% of its population living below the poverty level, which is significantly higher than the national average of 12.4%. Unsurprisingly, the median household income in the state was also below the national average, listed on the census as $31,330 for 1999, compared with $41,994 nationwide that year. The median value for an owner occupied housing unit in Mississippi was $71,400 in 2000, far below the national average that year of $119,600. The lower median home value in the state is likely a major contributing factor to the higher home ownership rate, which according to the 2000 US census was 72.3%, while the national average sat at 66.2%

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The housing market in Mississippi is currently experiencing some alarming booms and depressions. The aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina are still being felt across the Gulf Coast real estate industry. The damage is creating mini booms in areas that avoided the worst damage while slowing sales to a crawl in the hardest-hit communities.

Mississippi’s coastal Hancock County is a microcosm that reflects what is occurring throughout the state, with most of the sales activity shifting toward Diamondhead. Diamondhead is a town just north of the Gulf that was left in relatively good shape. The residential prices in the north end of the county, above the Interstate, are likely to have doubled in the last six months, the result of people leaving the south end and going north.

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It is difficult to say precisely how prices are holding up because there have been so few sales of homes in move-in condition. Most residential sales recently have been for highly damaged houses, most of which sell for little more than the value of the underlying land. Land Prices are still strong, with vacant lots, particularly those along the water still holding their value. On North Beach Boulevard in Bay St. Louis, where waterfront properties were blasted clean of any remaining structures, a standard lot is listed at $395,000.

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