Celebrating the merry month of May still lifts my spirits after celebrating more that “just a few” of them! May marks so many milestones; and it is one of our most beautiful months of the year.  For our team and families there are graduations, bridal and baby showers, Mother’s Day, wedding, special birthdays and anniversaries.  Also, team member, Alisa Sewell, will be earning her ‘Accredited Buyer’s Representative’ designation.  Vickie Iverson, accredited professional stager for the past 8 years will be completing MRI courses for becoming a licensed real estate agent.  This process will enable our sellers to benefit from Vickie’s unique skills all the way through the selling and closing process.  Upcoming significant events for our community will bring “Camelot” to our local stage, Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, City elections, numerous local high school and college graduation ceremonies, and ticket sales for our amazing Festival South June 1st – 17th.

Governor Phil Bryant’s recent announcement of Regions Bank’s plans to build an operations facility in Lamar County at Lincoln Road and Lamar Boulevard is a win for Lamar County and downtown Hattiesburg.  The move is expected to bring about 90 new jobs and to locate about 400 employees to the new facility. Local developers, Rob and Craig Tatum, will be redeveloping the historic buildings which Regions now occupies with the incorporation of a full-service Regions Bank on the first floor of the current Bank Building.

Steve Floyd, Team Commercial Realtor, is the skilled professional who successfully brought these parties together to close these transactions a few weeks ago.  Greg Garraway, South Mississippi President for Regions Bank stated: “Steve has assisted Regions Bank in securing branch sites through the years.  He was very helpful in locating several potential sites for the new operations facility and coordinating with all of the potential sellers involved as well as Regions Facility Group.  This chosen site is just ideal because it will not only serve Regions Bank and employees well, it will expedite further growth for the entire Hattiesburg Area.” 

More accolades came to Steve from fellow Realtor and All Star Team past client, Sherry Underwood.  Sherry represented the estate of David M. Cox, in the sale of the Regions chosen site.  Sherry stated: “This transaction could not have been accomplished without Steve Floyd’s involvement.  He was very instrumental from the beginning in bringing this transaction through to its fruition with the highest degree of professionalism.”

Congratulations to Adam Watkins for his continued advancement and commitment to serve in a demanding leadership role for Mississippi Association of Realtors.  He is currently serving as a Vice President and will be serving as President of MAR in 2019.  Adam will be participating this month in National Association of Realtors (NAR) Legislative meetings in Washington.  He was recently involved in the promotion of HB 1601, The First-Time Home Buyers Savings Plan which made Mississippi the fourth state to have a First-Time Home Buyers Savings Account.

Couples filing jointly can deduct up to $5000 annually for their state adjusted income to create a monetary savings account for a first-time home purchase.  A single first-time home buyer can deduct $2500; these tax credit deductions begin in tax year 2018.

Our local market has become much more competitive in price ranges $70,000 – $299,000.  In 2016, our local MLS reported 272 sales closed in the $70,000 to $299,000 range first quarter; in 2017 closed sales were 353 which is an increase of 29.7%.  Contrasting the $300,000 + range, the 2016 sales closed first quarter were 34 versus 22 in 2017.  Of course, more $300,000 + sales occur during the second and third quarters than during the first quarter.  Over-all our active listings are down by 2.8% and all solds are up by 17.6% at the end of the first quarter!

Three main factors seem to be guiding these changes in our market: 1. The tornado of January has and will continue to be a big influence. 2. The limited new construction influenced by limited new home sites and the appraisals often not matching the higher construction costs. 3. An increase in the first-time homebuyer pool. (Nationwide, 32% of homebuyers were first time in March.)

Our team is looking for properties to serve needs of current buyers.  If you are thinking of selling or know a friend or family member who may need or want to sell, our team is in a position to serve those needs now!!

Happy celebrations to you and your family as you enjoy this wonderful month of May!!  Celebrations bring deep renewal as we recognize and value the achievements of our graduates and other major milestones of our lives!  On that note, I want to thank you for the joy you bring to our team with your referrals of friends and family, kindness, trust, and friendships.

With much gratitude,