Anyone that lives in Northeast Mississippi knows about the Toyota announcement last week. To re-cap, the plant is finally going to open. The first cars will roll off the assembly line next fall. The impact is going to be felt throughout the region, but Lee, Union, and Pontotoc counties will see a dramatic effect almost immediately.
What, exactly, is that effect?
First and foremost, the Community Development Foundation predicts that the announcement means 10,000 new jobs for the region. That, obviously, is great news. While it may not solve all of our problems, it does mean that we'll see the unemployment rate go doen substantially over the next year and a half. Over the last two years, unemployment in the area has hovered at around 11%. Most folks in the know, predict it'll slide down to under 5% by the time the plant is up and running.
Second, Toyota is bringing executives and managers with them. That's around 400 upper middle class families coming into the region. We're talking about established, relatively well-off families that will add to our tax base and stimulate the economy.
That said, there is a lot of buzz about what's going to happen in the real estate market as the Toyota personnel move in and get settled into the community. For homeowners that have no intention of moving anywhere anytime soon, I've got good news for you. You can count on your property values increasing at a rate higher than the regional average. For the foreseeable future, that's probably only a couple of percent annually. If that doesn't sound like much, consider that right now, houses are selling for almost exactly what they did three years ago - and in some cases, they are selling for much less. I'll take 2 or 3% per year over that any day.
People that currently have their homes listed should thank their lucky stars. There are new buyers coming into the area in bigger numbers than we ever seen before. The chances of your house selling at close to list price are a good as they've ever been (and maybe ever will be). The bad news? Sellers that have waited to shop for a new home until after they sell are going to see much more competition for that next house. That translates to higher prices. My advice is to find your next house and lock in a contingent contract soon - very, very soon.
If you've been on the fence about whether or not to sell your house, the time has come to get it on the market. As I said previously, the value of your home is going to go up slightly over the next couple of years. That begs the question: Why not wait until homes prices have climbed a little more? The answer is simple. There is a small window of time during which Toyota is re-locating families into the area. There is a finite number of homes they can buy. Over the next 120 days, hundreds of them are going to be purchased. If your house is on the market, priced fairly, and in the 'target zones' for these buyers ($125K - $350), it stands a very good chance of selling very quickly. If you wait in an attempt to get more, you'll be selling during a period when their is much less demand and. That, as anyone, who's ever sold a home knows, is a crapshoot.
My advice is to take the safe bet and sell now.
If there's anything I can do to help you or if you just want to ask a question, feel free to contact me anytime.
Chris deLambert retired from the United States Army after 20 years of distinguished service. He is now a licensed Realtor and certified Short Sale/Foreclosure Resource serving all of Northeast Mississippi, including Lee County, Pontotoc County, Union County, Itawamba County, and Prentiss County. His office is located at 1720 McCullough Blvd in Tupelo, MS. You can call him at (662) 891-8942 or reach him via email at email@example.com. His website, delambertrealestate.com provides potential homebuyers and sellers with an array of data and tools without any registration requirements.