Natchez housing market still thriving, realtors say
Published 11:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2022
NATCHEZ — Natchez Realtor Janice Easom said last year about did her in.
“I sold 134 houses last year. I usually sell between 80 and 90 a year. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining,” said Easom, who works at Paul Green and Associates Realtors, is a perennial leading property seller in the Natchez area.
Despite inflation and interest rate hikes, the housing market here is still strong, she said.
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“The hike in interest rates has slowed things down just a little. Some people can’t qualify now who would have a year ago. However, it hasn’t slowed things down much. A few years ago, we had inventory of something like 600 houses. Now, our inventory is down to between 200 and 300 properties.”
Who is buying? Easom said Natchez is seeing a huge influx of people moving here from out of state.
“It is people who are able to work from home,” she said. Those new Natchez residents are seeking smaller communities and lower costs of living.
Sue Stedman, realtor, broker and owner at Crye-Leike Stedman Realty in Natchez, is also a top seller and expert on commercial and residential property in the Natchez area. She agrees the Natchez housing market continues to be healthy.
Stedman’s numbers on the housing market in just Adams County are lower than Easom’s
“I pull numbers every week and in Adams County, we have less than 100 houses on the market,” Stedman said. “And in the area we consider downtown, there are only 27 or 28 houses on the market.”
Stedman also said many of those buying houses in Natchez are relocating from elsewhere.
“The people who want to move here — and some of them are older — are moving from high density, urban areas that are getting so crowded. And COVID had a huge effect on people in those urban areas. They couldn’t walk out their door. It was a different situation here and I think people are realizing not being in such densely populated areas isn’t so bad,” she said.
Hikes in interest rates have now stopped the sale of homes here, Stedman said.
“It may have slowed it down a little, but what happens is, when interest rates go up, it forces people to buy a less expensive house. Some of these Realtors don’t remember when interest rates were at 18 and 19 percent. People were still buying houses, but just not as much house,” she said.
The problem she sees right now with the Adams County real estate market is lack of inventory, Stedman said.
“It’s so low. Out of the 100 houses on the market, 55 or 60 are priced at $200,000 or less. People are in that market all the time, but when you look at what the average family person is looking for, it’s homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 range. Those houses are pretty hard to come by right now. If you have a nice house and it comes on the market and it is priced appropriately, it does not last a week.”