Foreclosures Up Across Mississippi, Gulf Coast Hit HardBy Rhonda Miller | Published 12 Jul 2011 10:33pm |
Foreclosures are up across Mississippi. The Gulf Coast has been hardest hit, and as MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports, the glut of foreclosures is punching a hole in property values.
Juantia Colvin is a real estate broker and handles a lot of foreclosures in the six coastal counties. Colvin knows what it’s like. She and her husband finally got their dream home on a bayou in Gautier – then the bank took it.
"I am a victim of foreclosure," Colvin said. "Go back to the economy downturn in 2008. My husband was a licensed contractor. When the economy went south, we could not sell the houses he had built that were on the market, resulting in four of those being foreclosed on, which meant we had no income, which meant our home was foreclosed on."
The reasons behind the foreclosures are pretty clear, says Connie Sajwaj, who owns Beach View Real Estate in Ocean Springs
"Unemployment and the cost of insurance, it’s not affordable to many potential purchasers. All the insurance for the coast, homeowners insurance, flood insurance," Sajwaj said.
Walter Molony is a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C. He says home values on the coast have dropped nearly 25 percent in the past year.
"For the Gulfport-Biloxi metro area, the median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $99,400, keeping in mind there are a lot of foreclosures in that sales mix sold at deep discounts, and that’s weighing on the median price," Molony said.
Those lower home values have hit Jim Manly’s well-kept Gulfport community, where he’s working in the yard.
"What’s happened in the neighborhood is right after Katrina, five houses up the street, house sold for $305. Just sold for $160," Manly said.
Foreclosures are also up considerably in Jackson and up slightly in Hattiesburg, according to CoreLogic, a company that tracks real estate trends. A bright spot -Missisippi, statewide, is slightly below the national rate in foreclosures.
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