DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Positive news for Mississippi's housing market. The state ranks 44th in the nation when it comes to foreclosures. About a thousand homeowners received new foreclosure notices over the last three months, that's down more than 25-percent from this time last year. One Mid-South realtor believes the numbers mean a bright future for DeSoto County.
"There's market activity," said Paul Shahan, executive director of the Northwest Mississippi Association of Realtors.
Shahan believes Northern Mississippi is pulling out of the housing slump. According to RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure database, one house out of every 1,200 in the state is a foreclosure.
"It has been higher in last couple of years," Shahan told abc24.com.
Just over 1,700 homes are for sale in DeSoto County, he believes more than 500 are foreclosures. Shahan sees fewer houses for sale in 2011 as opposed to 2010. The ones on the market have just started selling faster. For the first time in 2011, the number of August and September home sales exceeded 2010's.
"We haven't been over a hundred percent in previous year for a long time, a couple of years," said Shahan.
Shahan believes the housing market is reflecting another growing trend, DeSoto's population.
"Between 1980 and 2000 there was tremendous growth in DeSoto County. In 2007, it slowed down due to the economy. That growth rate's about to pick up again. That's new for us," Shahan told abc24.com.
It's a turnaround Shahan thinks will benefit not only the housing market, but the county's entire economy.