Why would anyone think that the MS Coast would be a top emerging real estate market? Waterfront, beachfront, casinos, year round golf and boating, an entirely new coastal infrastructure, a new super-port called Port-of-the-Future in Gulfport, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard bases, the seafood industry, rail super-yards, major commercial growth in the economic recession, the barrier island national seashore, and oh yes….Great Fishing!
For links on economic engines, raw economic data, and more precise details of what this top emerging real estate market offers click here.
As you can see, there are multiple answers to why south MS is very possibly the best national emerging real estate market. I almost forgot to mention the once in a lifetime tax benefits of Go Zone 50% Accelerated Depreciation. 1st year owners of new construction, whether commercial or residential, get 50% accelerated depreciation as a Gulf Opportunity Zone, Go Zone, tax incentive for building in Mississippi’s 3 coastal counties.
There is little doubt that South MS could be the best real estate emerging market in the U.S. It’s definitely got everything you would look for from a research prospective. As real estate investors we know that real estate has been a path used for wealth building ever since the inception of this country. Thanks to the long history of real estate investing, we have many tools and identifiers we can use to measure a market’s potential. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel! It’s investment planning based on facts! The positioning of assets near economic growth shows insight and leads to the bigger investment returns of property appreciation.
I’ve been around the country in person and in research and I truly believe south MS is the best real estate emerging market in the U.S! Below is a list of traditional identifiers used by real estate investors since the investment game began as well as a description of how south MS fits in with those identifiers.
Investment Real Estate Growth Identifiers
#1. FEDERAL SPENDING- South MS has a long term federal budget. It is home to many military bases and federal agencies including Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi MS, the Naval Construction Battalion, Gulfport MS, Camp Shelby Army Base, Wiggins MS, Stennis Space Center, Hancock County, MS, and the Coast Guard Station, Gulfport, MS. All centers are within 40 miles of each other. Billions upon billions of federal dollars are spent in south MS every year. The influx of transferring military personnel keeps the coastal real estate market active. Keesler Air Force Base is home to the new Cyber Command Training Center as well as the United States Air Force Hurricane Hunter Division.
#2. MS COAST LOCAL ECONOMY - Emerging real estate markets must have at least one major driving economic force. South MS has many! The largest economic engine, other than the military bases, is the gaming & entertainment industry. South MS is a Vegas on the Beach type of environment. Billions of dollars have been invested over the past 10 years to bring in major resort-style casinos such as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Grand Casino Biloxi, Beau Rivage, Imperial Palace, Hollywood Casino, to name a few. There are projects currently underway such as Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi and the Can-Can Casino in D’Iberville. I offer this emerging real estate market question; “What would the real estate market of Las Vegas be like if it were built on a beach?” Other economic forces include the seafood industry, shipbuilding, tourism, and container seaport. In fact, Gulfport, MS has just broken ground on creating the largest and most state of the art container port in the country. This will bring tons of direct and indirect jobs to the Gulfport area and further strengthen an already strong economy. Several Casino development sites are also to be included with the port expansion.
#3. REAL ESTATE PRICES - The whole purpose of finding the best emerging market in the U.S. is to buy in cheap and sell high. Here in south MS there are many great ways to buy in cheap. We have prime located beach view and waterfront homes at unbelievably low prices. We have multi-family waterfront access properties starting at $10,000 per door. There is excellent acreage in prime waterfront areas at phenomenal prices. We have single family homes near the new port expansion site for well under $100,000. Land banking is also a great way to go if you know where to look. There is simply to much opportunity to list.
#4. INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE TAX INCENTIVES - Markets boom around tax incentives! While traditional depreciation rates on investment properties make great income shelters on their own, special government incentives can really ramp things up by turning good deals into great ones! With today’s U.S. government taking a more tax and spend approach while cutting tax shelters and write-offs, it has never been more beneficial for tax payers to find ways to shelter their income. Due to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, President Bush signed the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act, “Go Zone”, which opens the door for investors to realize 50% accelerated depreciation on new construction used as rentals in the designated coastal counties. Currently the south MS counties of Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson have received extensions through 2011 of the Go Zone Investment Program to help in the recovery effort. Go Zone Accelerated Depreciation can be used to recapture taxes paid up to 5 years back as well as into the future. While I have a good idea and have successfully helped other investors realize these benefits it’s prudent to consult with a real estate accountant or tax attorney to verify eligibility.
#5. GREAT LOCATION – Nothing ever appreciates quite like waterfront! South MS beaches and bays are located between New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL. Both of these major-coastal-port cities are identified as emerging markets on their own. What makes south MS better than either of these areas is the diversified local economy, federal backing, coastal gaming, and upcoming container port. Along with the fact that our country has produced a huge number of new veterans who will be able to take full advantage of their military benefits and live a coastal lifestyle here in south MS! The beautiful white sand beaches, year round fishing and golf, vibrant coastal culture, and scenic Hwy 90 add to the MS coast’s enhanced real estate living experience!
#6. GROWTH POTENTIAL- South MS is a metropolis made up of many cities including Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, Diamondhead, Bay St. Louis & Waveland. After Hurricane Katrina’s unprecedented storm surge the cities’ utility infrastructure was completely destroyed. This was a blessing in disguise. The old system was not built to a standard that supported high density growth along coastal MS. The completely new system is! There is also plenty of room available north of town for future expansion, although real estate prices have a lot of room for appreciation before people get pushed into new construction north of town.
#7. QUALITY OF LIFE- There is always something going on in south MS. The huge number of festivals including Mardi Gras, Seafood Fest, Crawfish Fest, Blessing of the Fleet, Cruisin the Coast, Scrapin the Coast, Art Festivals, and many more keep the culture rich area’s residents happy and full of life. On the other side of the coin it is simple to get away from it all in your kayak or canoe and paddle the many rivers, bays and canals while you clear your mind and revisit simple pleasures. It’s easy to see your favorite band perform in concert, check out a new show or a great comedian, dine out for great southern fresh seafood, play golf on top-rated beautiful courses, or take the family to the beach. New Orleans is only an hour away and offers many great attractions as well!
As you can see there are enough positive indicators to warrant serious consideration of the MS Coast for investment real estate. Feel free to contact me for more information on what is quite possibly the best emerging real estate market in the U.S.