Property values on the Northside are going strong, with most areas experiencing significant increases in values from the same time in 2019.
In Madison, the average home is selling for $477,360, up from $443,376 this time last year. Meanwhile, the average sale price for a home in Ridgeland is $570,000, up from $501,585 last year.
In Northeast Jackson, the average sale price is $318,016, up from about $302,875 last year, according to figures provided by Central Mississippi Realtors.
Meanwhile, Fondren and Belhaven have experienced some of the greatest increases in home values, with the average price in those areas going up by 29.6 percent and 15.6 percent respectively over the same time in 2019.
The average price for a home in Fondren now is $491,688, compared with $379,389 last year, and $255,304 in Belhaven, compared to $220,851 in 2019.
Katie Warren, president of the Central Mississippi Realtors board of directors, said values are strong in Fondren and Belhaven, in large part, due to the area’s proximities to downtown Jackson and area hospitals.
“Surgeons have to be within so many miles of a hospital, if they get a call, and you have a lot of medical students buying houses while they’re in medical school,” she said.
Kitty Rushing, an agent with Charlotte Smith Real Estate, backs up Warren’s claims. “My granddaughter and her husband renovated a home and sold it in a week,” she said. “Fondren is as hot as it can be.”
Rushing said Eastover also continues to be a strong market. This year, she has already sold several million-dollar homes in the exclusive neighborhood. People are paying top-dollar, even knowing that they’re going to have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars more in renovations once they buy the properties.
“A lot of people are buying and renovating because they want to be in Northeast Jackson,” she said.
She currently has homes in Eastover and Woodland Hills that are both listed for around $800,000. However, she said houses at lower price points are also selling. “Kids are coming out of medical school and they want to live where they grew up,” she said. “if I could get more houses I could sell them.”
Nationally, 94 percent of the 180 metro areas surveyed have seen property values increase in the last year.
The median home value for all of metro Jackson is around $178,200, roughly 2.4 percent more than it was this time in 2019.
By comparison, the average home value in Little Rock is $152,500, 4.6 percent more than last year. Average home values in Baton Rouge and Mobile sit at $214,200 and $155,5000 respectively. Both of those metro areas have also seen an increase in values year over year, with Mobile seeing a 6.4 percent increase and Baton Rouge seeing a 1.4 percent increase, according to National Association of Realtors data.
Stephanie Remore, a realtor and operating principal with Keller Williams of Madison, says values in South Madison County are going up, largely because it’s a seller’s market.
“The way we determine if it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market is if we have six months or less of inventory,” she said.
Translated, with less inventory, sellers can command a higher price because there are fewer homes to choose from.
“In the lower price range, $350,000 and lower, we’re seeing two or three competing offers, especially if the homes are in good shape and priced appropriately,” she said.
Remore said homes in that range are usually on the market 30 days or less, while homes under $200,000 are on the market 15 days or less, depending on conditions.
“You have a lot of new people entering the market as first-time homebuyers, people who have just entered the job force,” she said. “Others who are moving up because of the low rate and they can get more house for their money.”
Rushing said the low interest rate was also contributing to sales in the Jackson market. Last week, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was around 3.9 percent, down from 4.28 percent at this time in 2019 and 4.44 percent in 2018.
Low interest rates have spurred sales nationally as well. According to the National Association of Realtors, 94 percent of the nation’s metro areas have seen increases in property values in the last year.
In January, the Washington Post reported that the housing market was buoyed by low interest rates and strong job market.
New home sales were expected to rise 750,000 this year, 11 percent higher than in 2019, while existing home sales were expected to climb to 5.6 million, four percent more than last year, according to the Post report.
It was unclear how the market would be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. CNBC is already showing a market decline in New York. Among concerns, sellers are becoming more reluctant to list their homes, for fear of falling prices. They’re also concerned about having open houses, citing the potential spread of coronavirus from visitors.
However, the Manhattan market had already been experiencing a two-year slump, according to CNBC.
Rushing was unsure whether the virus would affect home sales locally. “I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that.”