Hattiesburg, MS real estate market in top 25

Homes in the Hattiesburg, MS real estate market will buck national trends and show moderate appreciation in 2008, according to a real estate forecasting company.

Hattiesburg homes will appreciate 3.7 percent this year, said HousingPredictor.com, a real estate Web site that provides forecasts on more than 250 real estate markets. Hattiesburg ranked 23rd in the nation

Hattiesburg was one of three markets in Mississippi that made the top 25. The other two were Biloxi, which ranked 8th with a 5.1 percent appreciation rate, and Pascagoula at 22nd with a 3.8 percent appreciation rate.

The top growth area was Yakima, Wash., at 7.1 percent.

The median price of all homes sold in 2007 fell 1.4 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors, and total home sales dropped by 12.8 percent for the year. Single-family home sales also fell by 13 percent in 2007, the NAR said, the largest drop in 25 years. A study by Merrill Lynch released last week forecasted a 15 percent decline in home sales nationally for 2008.

From January 2007 to January 2008, the median sales price of a single-family home in Hattiesburg increased 2 percent, from $139,900 to $144,000, said Gwen James, president of the Mississippi Board of Realtors.

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