Home sales across the Northside are going strong, even as the coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc in other areas of the economy.
In fact, data shows that only 10 fewer homes were sold in the Sun’s six ZIP Codes between March 1 and July 31, 2020 when compared to the same months in 2019.
In all, 1,026 homes were closed on during the five-month stretch, compared to 1,036 during the same span last year, according to the Central Mississippi Realtors (CMR) Multiple Listing Service.
Meanwhile, the average sales price has skyrocketed, with homes going on average for $282,934 during the pandemic months, compared to $267,960 last year.
“It’s a full-blown sellers’ market,” CMR President Katie Warren said. “I thought it would be different with COVID, but it’s been busy.”
Several factors are driving the current market, including individuals looking for larger digs after being home so much during the pandemic.
“Families have been spending more time at home, working from home and homeschooling their children and realize they need more space,” she said.
Warren, who works for Turn Key Properties in Madison, said many clients are also looking for homes that can accommodate home offices.
Kitty Rushing, an agent with Charlotte Smith Realty, said the current interest rates also are contributing to the market’s strength.
As of last week, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage carried a 3.04 percent interest rate and an annual percentage rate of 3.35 percent.
“You can afford a bigger house because the rates are lower,” she said. “I thought nobody would want to see a house during this time, but the interest rates make a difference in what people can borrow.”
The area’s strongest markets are in Madison, Gluckstadt and Northeast Jackson.
Home sales actually went up during the pandemic in the 39110 area, with 571 homes being sold between March 1 and July 31, CMR numbers show. Last year, 555 homes were sold during the same period.
The 39110 ZIP Code includes Madison and Gluckstadt and neighborhoods like Annandale and Reunion.
The average sales price grew from $327,283 last year to $343,108 this year, according to CMR data.
Buyers in Madison and Gluckstadt are typically looking for new homes and are attracted to the Madison County School District, Warren said.
“The bulk of our inventory is new construction,” Warren said. “We have some resales, but a ton of new homes in all price ranges.”
Seventeen fewer homes were sold in Northeast Jackson during the pandemic months. Even so, the average home price in that period grew.
In all, 220 homes were sold in 39211 between since March, down from 237 last year. Homes were slightly more expensive, with the average sales price going from $207,182 last year to $211,748 now.
Homes in 39211 sat on the market about 20 days before being sold, compared to 19 days in the 39110.
Northeast Jackson include young doctors and other professionals who need to be close to hospitals or the downtown area, according to Rushing
The Eastover, LOHO and Sheffield areas are only a few minutes’ drive from area hospitals and the downtown corridor.
Home sales remained flat elsewhere or were slightly down. But like in Madison and Northeast Jackson, home prices in those areas also went up.
In Ridgeland, 123 sold between March 1 and July 31, the same as last year; 83 were sold in Fondren in the last five months, compared to 91 last year; and 29 were sold in the Belhaven area, compared to 30 last year.
Prices are going up, in part, because of a shrinking inventory.
As of July 31, 499 single-family homes, condos, townhouses and apartments were on the market across the Northside, compared to 906 as of July 31, 2019.
“We don’t have enough houses to sell,” Rushing said.
Northsider Misti Sims understands that problem all too well.
Her family looked at homes for about seven months before finding one that suited them.
“We were actually looking in Jackson and Ridgeland, but both markets are slim,” she said.
Sims, a mother of two, and her husband Clint decided to sell their Madison home to move closer to the capital city, where she works and her children go to school.
They currently lease a home in the Sheffield neighborhood, and have only recently purchased one.
“It’s taken a lot longer than expected,” she said. “I’m guessing people were hesitant to list their homes because of the virus.”
Much like on the Northside, national inventories have also declined. Realtor.com’s June housing report showed that across the country, inventories were down 27.4 percent when compared to the same time last year. Forbes magazine credits the decrease, in part, to an aging population that is opting not to sell and “age in place.”
ducts a needs assessment will be determined through litigation.
Attorney Maison Heidelberg, who is representing NCL Waste in litigation against Madison County, offered “no comment on the pending legal issues.”