How beach front property in Hancock County is fairing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

How beach front property in Hancock County is fairing

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - This two story modular home going up on North Beach Boulevard is one of five under construction on Hancock County's beachfront.

"It's refreshing to see new housing going up, and I hope we'll see more in the future," said Latter & Blum Office Manage Stephanie McConnell.

McConnell says despite that bit of good news, beachfront property just isn't selling.

Stephanie McConnell, Latter & Blum Office Manager; "In the last two years, six properties on the Beach have gone to closing," McConnell said. "Some sold for full price. Some sold for far less."

Right now there are about 60 beach front lots up for sale in Hancock County. 

McConnell said, "Not a lot of people coming in snapping up these lots and rebuilding."

Herb Dubuisson with Caldwell Banker Alfonso Reality said, "I would say less than ten percent."

Dubuisson said beachfront redevelopment is hindered by the high cost of complying with FEMA's elevation requirements, as well as the high cost of insurance and property taxes. He said on top of that, there's little chance of those same people building back.

"I think a big factor that not a lot of people realize is most of the owners of property along the beach front were not permanent residents," Dubuisson said. "They were weekend, and a lot of those people who had owned their houses 30, 40, 50 years have no plans of coming back."

Still, history gives McConnell reason to be somewhat hopeful.

"Time, I think time. Just like after Camille, it took many years for things to return to complete normalcy, and I think we're looking at the same thing after Katrina," McConnell said.

Realtors say the good news is there appears to be a renewed interest in the county's second home market.

They say since January, they've taken more calls from people in Louisiana than they've received at any time since the storm.

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