Drop in south Mississippi home values

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -- By Krystal Allan - bio | email

The housing market has declined between 8% and 9% in South Mississippi.   Despite the drop, realtors say it could be much worse.

"In many areas across the country, the decline has been much more significant. In some places there's been as much as a 30% to 50% decline in value," says Cynthia Joachim of Century 21.

Joachim says the drop was not as bad here because we didn't see the huge run up in home prices compared to other parts of the country.

"We had more of a steady incline in our values so consequently our drop in values has not been as significant," says Joachim.

But, the numbers don't tell the whole story.

"The numbers are relative.  When somebody loses ten percent of the value of their home, that is significant to them.  It doesn't matter what their home is worth," says Joachim.

Despite the hit to the housing market in South Mississippi, some realtors are expecting a rebound sooner than later.

"We're going to see the Gulf Coast slip a little bit lower and correct itself, as it naturally should for the first couple months of the year, then I expect to see a good turn around," says Scott DeLano, Gulf States Properties.

"We are stabilizing our market, our banks have money to lend, and our interest rates are low," says Joachim.

Joachim offers a more positive take on the future, as people wonder whether things will get worse before they get any better.

Members of the National Association of Realtors say they're working to submit a four-point plan to help the housing market.  They plan to submit it to congress as part of its new stimulus proposal.