COPY-The Housing Market: What You Should Know - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 10/06/06

COPY-The Housing Market: What You Should Know

By Dawn Russell
dawn@wlbt.net

Nationally, the housing market has been suffering. Locals in the business say that's not the case in the Jackson metro area. But there are some changes that buyers and sellers should know about.

The sound of saws and lots of other construction tools will greet you as you enter many neighborhoods in the Jackson metro area. But that appears to be slowing down. And experts say it's not for the reasons you might expect.

"I think there is a misconception that sales aren't going well. They are still very steady and wonderful for our market." In fact, Dee Denton, the board president of the Jackson Association of Realtors says multiple listing service statistics show a total increase in sales for the metro area each year for the past 3 years... More houses sold in Madison and Rankin counties... Fewer in Hinds county.

Denton, who is also a builder, says, despite those good numbers, there is a slow down in construction because of a surplus of homes up for sale... due in part to those record low interest rates we had.

"We have had an influx in the home-building industry of new builders starting up in this industry and putting more product out on the market."

Denton says that should be back to normal sometime next year. Meantime--she says it's definitely a buyer's market.

Some builders we talked to say they are adding special features to homes as an incentive to sell them like kitchen upgrades such as granite and stainless steel appliances. And Denton says the spike in home prices is leveling out... getting back to the normal 3 to 5 percent increase a year -- instead of 6 to 10 percent.

Also, mortgage rates are looking good. According to local bankers-- after several increases -- mortgage rates are now on a downward trend-- dropping half a point in the last few months to the low 6's on a 30 year mortgage. So, if you are planning to buy-- denton says it's a great time. If you are planning to sell-- don't worry-- just be patient-- it could take a little longer.

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