Housing is booming in Pearl River County

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023

By Rob Sigler, Staff Writer

The housing and real estate market remains strong in Pearl River County, despite the rise in interest rates.
“Buyers are still buying with higher rates,” said local realtor Tonya Cialona. “I like to say these are ‘back to normal rates’ where the extremely low rates we saw were historically low.”
Mortgage rates have been steadily climbing over the last year after falling to record lows. A year ago, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate was between 3.5 and 4 percent. Today, that rate is now around 6.5 percent.
That increase hasn’t deterred those wanting to purchase a home, especially those looking to get out of rising rentals and relocate to Pearl River County. Single-family residential building fees collected by the county totaled $316,220 in 2022

“Recently, I had two separate buyers who were renting in Louisiana decide to move to Pearl River County due to rental prices being almost double what their house note on new construction would be,” said Cialona. “They got pre-approved and moved in within 30 days of contract on homes in the $200.000 price range, keeping their monthly mortgage payment lower on their purchase, including taxes and insurance.”
Folks wanting to relocate to Pearl River County has been high since post-Katrina, desiring to leave urban areas and find a home in the country. That has been great for sellers in the county as demand continues to exceed inventory.
“Some sellers homes have sold so quick that we’ve had to find rentals in the meantime of purchasing homes,” said Cialona. “(Affordable) insurance prices are driving buyers to our area, as well as location.”

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The demand in housing has been a boom for those in the construction business.
In 2019, Pearl River County issued 167 permits for new residential buildings. That number jumped to 278 permits in 2020. In 2021, 277 residential permits were issued and 365 residential permits were issued in 2022.
Cialona, who is also a member of the Pearl River County Board of Realtors, says the strong demand for new and existing homes is expected to continue in 2023. She has some advice for buyers and sellers … work with a real estate agent.
“Buyers have more leverage and options than they’ve had in the last 12 months,” said Cialona. “Buyers will need to work closely with their real estate agent to ensure negotiation strategies are up for the challenging market changes. And sellers will also need to work close with their agents more than ever to market their property to sell.”