Beachfront property for sale, but not moving

By Doug Walker – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Drive down the beachfront in Harrison County, and one thing keeps popping up more often, signs advertising properties for sale.  It's a trend that appears to be growing, as more property owners opt to sell rather than rebuild or lose their properties altogether.

"Right now we are seeing listings crop up and you're seeing more and more signs go up," realtor Melissa Warren said. "I think what we are starting to see really impact the market are some bank repos actually in the commercial condo market."

And there's a major difference now, compared to before Katrina.

"Frankly, prices are dropping. And what property was worth right after the storm and right before the storm was way more than it is today."

While some of the 50 or so properties located on the beach in Harrison County are moving, most are not. And when you talk to the experts, the number one reason why will come as no surprise. It's insurance, according to realtor Carlene Alfonso.

"Residential, of course, still goes back to insurance. Ad I know we've got a lot of folks working on insurance, but it's still the number one challenge we have."

And until that challenge is solved, with availability increasing, and premiums decreasing, the "For Sale" signs may be a very familiar sight on the beachfront for years to come.

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