If you build it, they will come

Published 10:21 am Friday, January 19, 2018

If you build it, they will come: Region’s growth could prove attractive for home developers

The 244 Country Club Road (above) listing in Batesville is currently the most expensive residential real estate listing in Panola County. The home is one of the few for sale in the area, creating a seller’s market due to low inventory. With demand for housing, especially affordable housing, growing in the area, and the draw of Batesville in proximity to Oxford, the University of Mississippi and Desoto County, developers could soon begin to build houses to meet that demand.
Submitted by Molly Hawkins

By David Magee
Batesville is a land of opportunity when it comes to housing affordability and quality of life, and those attributes could fuel future growth according to some professionals.
Real estate pricing and demand in Batesville is increasing thanks to continued regional growth in Oxford, the University of Mississippi and also along the I-55 corridor to Memphis.
As a result, Batesville and Panola County are uniquely positioned for future growth as more people in the region look for affordable housing.
“Real estate in Batesville and Panola County is the best right now that I have experienced in my 30 years in the business,” said Nell Foshee, owner and broker at Batesville Realty. “The biggest challenge I see is that we need more nice, livable housing in a price range of $100,000 to $250,000.”
In other words, Foshee believes that if developers create the housing, Batesville and Panola County will deliver the buyers.
To date, Batesville has not seen developers target the area for multiple new subdivisions like the ones being built in Oxford and Lafayette County.
However, that may change in coming years. In Oxford, the average price for a single-family home is close to $300,000. Annually, there is a consistent double-digit increase in Oxford due to residental growth, which has driven up land prices.
In Batesville, the average price for properties on the market is closer to $130,000, but prices are rising.
“This market has been steady and the price per square foot has definitely risen since I have been an agent,” said Molly Hawkins of Magnolia Realty & Appraisal, who currently has the area’s top residential listing of just under $1 million. “It’s a seller’s market – we’ve not had a lot of inventory,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins also said she gets lots of calls from people looking for rental homes and is always searching for more homes to offer for lease.
As in Oxford, land values have risen in Panola County, but for different reasons.
Here, recreational land and farm land is harder to find.
In Oxford and Lafayette County, just as up I-55 in Desoto County, land is typically higher priced due to residential and commercial development.
As for homes in Batesville, inventory is the issue.
Those that are livable and don’t need much work often sell quickly, realtors said, revealing that more good housing could fuel growth in Batesville and Panola County.
“The market here is good for a number of reasons, but it all comes down to this being a good place to live and work,” Foshee said. “People want to live here because they see a good quality of life. GE helped. The arrival of that plant has been good for the local economy.
“And, we are seeing people who work in Oxford and at Ole Miss starting to see Batesville as attractive because it is more affordable and in a good location.”
One difference in Batesville is that the rare higher priced, executive-type properties may linger on the market as they wait for the right buyer.
But these properties are a much better value than buyers can find in other areas of the region. A prime example is the Stubblefield home at 244 Country Club Road in Batesville.
With five bedrooms and a remarkable 20 acres in the heart of Panola County, the home is a rare and unusual find, according to Hawkins who has the Stubblefield home listing.
“This home, situated on 20 acres right between two golf fairways, features a game room, formal living and dining rooms, and a den that adjoins a sunken sunroom and fabulous bar,” Hawkins said. “The bricked patio overlooks the pristine property and is the perfect setting for secluded outdoor entertaining. This estate is a one-of-a-kind location that can’t be matched.”

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