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Inventory of new and existing homes in MIssissippi’s fast-growing county continues to grow, as evidenced in the new construction of homes in the Cherry Tree South subdivision of Southaven.

Those individuals in the market for a new or existing home in Mississippi's fastest-growing county have a wide inventory from which to choose, according to Tracy Kirkley, broker and vice president with Crye-Leike Realtors in Olive Branch.

"We have all heard that real estate is local and that is very true," Kirkley said. "Even within a county, the inventory levels/demand for housing can be different. Gosh, from subdivision to subdivision, it can change also. Keep in mind that in the real estate world, a balanced inventory (no advantage to buyer or seller) is when there is approximately a six-month supply of homes. A seller's market is when you have less than six months inventory and a buyer's market is when the inventory level is greater than six months."

The inventory is greater for homes in the upper price range in Olive Branch, for example. This price range involves homes $400,000 and up.

The same cannot be said for moderately-priced homes which are typically those purchased by first-time homebuyers. Those homes range in price from $200,000 to $250,000.

"First-time homebuyers are in a pickle because there is not a lot of inventory in that price range," Kirkley said. "In all of Olive Branch, there are seven homes for sale in that price range."

"When you move into the older parts of Southaven and Horn Lake you have more options. The market over the past two years has improved significantly. We're not quite caught up to have a seller's market."

The latest information from the Northwest Mississippi Association of Realtors shows that in Olive Branch, there is a 17.6 month supply for homes costing $400,000 and up.

For homes in Olive Branch costing $300,000 to $400,000 there is a six and a half month supply.

The shift in inventory begins at homes priced between $250,000 to $300,000, according to Kirkley.

There is a tighter supply of homes priced at $200,000 to $250,000 — about two and a half months) and the inventory tightens to 1.3 months for homes priced $150,000 to $200,000.

Homes costing $100,000 to $150,000 enjoy a 1.9 month supply and moderately-priced homes at the $100,000 level enjoy only a one month supply in Olive Branch.

The inventory for the DeSoto County seat of Hernando is similar, according to Kirkley.

Homes priced at $400,000 and up enjoy a 38-month supply and those homes on the upper price range of $300,000 to $400,000 have a 9.9 month supply.

In Hernando, the shift begins with homes priced in the $250,000 to $300,000 range, in which the inventory is seven months. Homes costing $200,000 to $250,000 enjoy a 2.5 month supply and similarly, there is a one-month supply for homes priced in the $150,000 to $200,000 range. Homes between $100,000 and $150,000 enjoy a four-month inventory with $100,000 homes having a five-month supply in the DeSoto County seat.

In Southaven, Mississippi's third-largest city, there is a year's supply on homes costing upwards of $400,000 and a 30-month supply of homes costing between $300,000 and $400,000. There is a 7.2 month supply for homes costing between $250,000 and $300,000, with a "big jump" occurring in homes priced between $200,000 and $250,00 in which there is an eight and a half month supply.

However, the supply of homes priced between $100,000 and $150,000 in Southaven are only in a one-and-a-half month supply, with no homes on the market in the $100,000 range.

"My analysis shows that we are following a national trend where inventory levels are starting to rise in the upper price ranges," Kirkley said. "Through the next six-to-12 months, if we follow what is happening nationally, we should start seeing that trickle down into the lower price points, giving us a more balanced inventory," added Kirkley.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252

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