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Miss. Gulf Coast Real Estate Market Shows Signs of Recovery

By Evelina Burnett | Published 06 Aug 2013 04:13pm | comments

The Gulf Coast real estate market is starting to show signs of improvement. 

 A worker cuts tile to put in the bathroom of a home under construction in the Gulfport community of Florence Gardens. It’s one of five new homes currently being built here.  Florence Garden’s Ryan Goldin says there’s enough demand now to start on the third phase of the community.

"We're definitely getting a lot more calls and we're also getting a lot more families looking for that larger home with a little bit of backyard," says Goldin. 

The real estate market seems to be improving across the gulf coast.  The average home sales price on the Coast was almost $135,000 in June, up about 8% from the year before. Ken Austin is the owner of Mississippi Coast Realty and the president of the State Association of Realtors. He says the coast market was hit by “the big three”:

"Katrina, the oil spill and the economic crisis altogether and all three have worked to really hurt the housing market on the coast, but it's a resilient market and it's a resilient economy.  We continue to see improvement, we continue to see people wanting to move to the coast," says Austin.  

Austin says better building codes have helped bring down home insurance premiums from post-Katrina peaks. But looming increases in flood insurance still hang over the real estate market.

"While there are projected increases that are coming down the line, and while there's a lot of activity to try to help to stave those off, to hold them for awhile, and maybe to reconfigure and potentially not even have them occur, the uncertainty of when they're going to happen, if they're going to happen et cetera, that's really been the biggest factor in the last couple months.   

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Multiple Listing Service says 286 homes sold in June, up about 9% from last year.






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