The good news for anyone wanting to sell a house is that interest rates and inventory are low, selling prices are up and there are often multiple offers. The historically low interest rates are also good news for home buyers.
“Low interest rates are definitely sparking home sales. That allows lower payments and buyers can afford bigger houses,” says Bryan Miller, senior mortgage banker with Renasant Bank in Tupelo. “People are having to move up because houses are going for higher asking prices and with multiple offers.”
He says there is currently no inventory in the Tupelo area with 300 houses listed and 298 of those with pending sales. That compares to 1,400 houses listed in 2008. “A lot of people are trying to compare the current market to 2008 but it is not the same for two reasons, which are the lower interest rates now and the lack of inventory now. How can it pop? I'm optimistic.”
Likewise, Bank of Anguilla Vice President Kit McCoy says sales have been continuing to increase due to the low interest rate. “While home renovations was our bank’s largest boom with one to four family dwellings during the last two quarters of 2020, the first quarter of 2021, we saw a surge in home purchases.”
Both bankers are also seeing an increase in home refinancing. “Bank of Anguilla has definitely seen an uptick of refinancing since rates have lowered, especially cash out refinancing of customers' primary residences,” McCoy said. “COVID was a perfect storm for creating a stir for home improvements. With individuals spending endless hours in their home and rates plummeting, customers were ready to get those jobs around the house completed that they had been postponing.”
“Refinance was very, very strong from December through March,” Miller said, “but most of my business now is purchases. We have some 100 percent loans and I do a lot of conventional loans with a three to five percent down payment. I anticipate that rates will stay the same through 2021, and information from the Mortgage Bankers Association supports that.”
Realtors are busy selling homes all over the state, according to Dorothy Thompson, president of the Mississippi Association of Realtors. “I've been a licensed realtor since 1984 and seen a lot of ups and downs, but the situation now is unique,” she said. “The demand outweighs our supply.”
Thompson says this type of thing has always happened in different pockets, but currently it's happening throughout the state. “I talk to MAR members all over the state and to realtors in other states. There is low inventory everywhere,” she said. “I tell my customers to get in touch with lenders and lock in rates to refinance. When purchasing, the most important things are to know what you're looking for and always get pre-qualified.”