When a company backed by Wall Street private equity starts buying up rental property in a market, it’s a sign that real estate investors should sit up and take notice. That’s exactly what’s been occurring in Jackson and the tri-county area, with one firm purchasing literally hundreds of homes to rent.
Jackson is located along the Pearl River near the south-central part of the state and is the capital of Mississippi. The city is home to more than a dozen colleges and universities, a growing number of young professional workers, and some very affordable real estate.
The economy of Jackson is driven by the government, financial services, manufacturing, and agricultural sectors. Gospel, blues, and R&B help make Jackson famous, and the city hosts numerous cultural events each year such as the Crossroads Film Festival and the Mississippi State Fair.
Keep reading to learn more about the Jackson real estate market in 2021.
Jackson is one of the three regions of Mississippi that has seen the largest population gain over the past eight years, according to The Meridian Star.
Key Population Stats:
- City of Jackson is home to nearly 175,000 residents with more than 594,000 living in the tri-county metro area.
- Jackson MSA consists of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties.
- Jackson is the capital city of Missouri, the most populous city in the state, and part of the 93rd largest metro area in the U.S.
- Population of Jackson has increased by 0.74% year-over-year and has grown by about 0.5% over the past five years.
- 41% of the people in Jackson are between the ages of 20 and 49.
- Median age in Jackson is 36.9 years.
- Greater Jackson boasts a labor force participation rate of 62.4%, about 5% higher than the entire state.
Unemployment in Jackson has dropped to just 6.4% with employment sectors including manufacturing, professional and business services, and government jobs showing the quickest signs of recovery. Looking forward, Mississippi should see the fastest job growth in the next four years, with the job market especially strong in Jackson and the south-central part of the state, as reported by Kiplinger.
Key Employment Stats:
- GDP of Jackson MSA is over $24.5 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and has grown by about 6.0% over the past ten years.
- Year-over-year job growth in Jackson increased by 0.74%.
- Job growth in Mississippi is predicted to be 0.8%, with much of the employment gain coming from the Greater Jackson Region.
- Unemployment rate in Jackson is 6.4% according to the BLS (as of Oct. 2020).
- Top employment sectors in the Jackson MSA include manufacturing, retail trade, health care and social assistance, professional services, and finance and insurance.
- Largest employers in Greater Jackson include Nissan North America, Madison County School District, Perco Foods of MS, technical service and document control company Conduent, Vantec Hitachi Transport System, Yates Services, Levi Strauss & Co., and Comcast.
- Cal-Maine Foods, EastGroup Properties, and Trustmark Corporation are three publicly traded companies headquartered in the Jackson MSA.
- Major colleges and universities in the Jackson area include Jackson State University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi College, and Millsaps College.
- 88% of Jackson residents have a high school degree or higher, while 31% hold a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree.
- I-55 near Jackson connects with Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago, and New Orleans while I-20 is the major east-west interstate to all major metro areas in the South.
- Canadian National Railway and Grenada Railway are two freight rail lines serving the Jackson Region.
- Major cargo ports of Vicksburg, Gulfport, and Pascagoula are all within 200 miles or less of Jackson.
- Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN) provides non-stop service to major metro areas including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, and Orlando.
Real Estate Market
Opportunistic real estate investors just might find Jackson the perfect market to buy rental property in.
According to a recent article from Inman, some home prices in Jackson may be heading down, while foreclosure rates are more than triple the national average. However, the population and economy are still growing, which is one reason why the demand for good rental property from tenants in Jackson, MS remains strong.
Key Market Stats:
- Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) for Jackson is $46,885 as of November 2020.
- Homes values in Jackson increased by 1.7% last year and are forecast to grow another 9.9% over the next 12 months.
- Over the past six years home values in Jackson have increased by 23.4%.
- Median listing price of a single-family home in Jackson is $149,900 according to the most recent report from Realtor.com (Nov. 2020).
- Median listing price per square foot is $79.
- Jackson has plenty of affordable homes with asking prices starting at just under $10,000.
- Of the seven neighborhoods in Jackson, Belhaven is the most expensive with a median listing price of $239,000.
- Most affordable neighborhood in Jackson is Fondren with a median listing price of $125,900.
Attractive Renters’ Market
One of the biggest reasons investors buy rental property is because people always need a place to live. Even though some homeowners in the area may be struggling, the demand for rental property in Jackson remains strong. In fact, Jackson was recently listed as one of the smaller cities in the U.S. where rents are rising the most.
Key Market Stats:
- Average rent in Jackson is $817 per month based on the most recent research from RENTCafé (as of Oct. 2020).
- Rents in Jackson have increased by 3% year-over-year and by 7.6% over the last three years.
- 88% of the housing units in Jackson rent for $1,000 per month or less.
- Renter-occupied households represent 39% of the total occupied housing units in Jackson.
- Neighborhoods in Jackson most affordable for renters include Appleridge, Briarcliff Circle, and Bullard Hill where rents average $691 per month.
- Neighborhoods in Jackson with the highest rents include Downtown, Belhaven, and Virden where rents go as high as $1,192 per month.
Historic Price Changes & Housing Affordability
Two methods that rental property investors use to analyze markets are reviewing the historic change in housing prices and affordability. Price changes can help forecast possible equity growth over the long term, while the affordability of housing is one indicator of how strong a specific area may be for renters.
Each month Freddie Mac publishes its House Price Index (FMHPI) report with up-to-date data on the change in home prices for all markets across the U.S. The most recent FMHPI from Freddie for the Jackson MSA shows:
- October 2015 HPI: 129.42
- October 2020 HPI: 150.05
- 5-year change in home prices: 15.9%
- One-year change in home prices: 5.4%
- Monthly change in home prices: 0.7%
Housing affordability is calculated by comparing the median family income in a market to the median cost of a single-family home. A good resource for HAI (housing affordability index) data is the report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The NAR uses an affordability index of 100 in its HAI report, then ranks each market in the U.S. against this baseline index. The higher the HAI of a specific market is above 100, the more affordable it is to purchase a home.
It’s important to note that when the NAR calculates affordability, the organization assumes a buyer will use a conventional loan with 20% down to purchase an existing single-family home.
Based on the NAR’s latest report, the HAI for the Jackson MSA was 190.3 in 2018, the most recent year available. This means that the median family has slightly more than 1.9 times the needed income to purchase a median priced, existing single-family home with a conventional mortgage in the Jackson metropolitan area.
Quality of Life
Jackson is described as the “City with Soul” thanks to its Southern hospitality, friendly locals, live music, and the city’s pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Newcomers to Jackson are pleasantly surprised to learn that there’s much more to the area than meets the eye.
Key Quality of Life Stats:
- Forbes ranks Jackson among the best places in the nation for cost of doing business, job growth, and education.
- Cost of living in Jackson is 4% below the national average.
- Niche.com gives the region strong ratings for diversity and nightlife and ranks Jackson among the best cities for young professionals in America and one of the best places to retire.
- Good economy, parks, nightspots, and college campuses are some of the factors cited by Livability.com that make Jackson a great place to live.
- Madison County Public Schools (near Jackson) receives an A+ grade and is ranked #1 for the most star students in Mississippi.
- Climate in Jackson is humid subtropical, with rain throughout the year and rare winter snow.
- Dining scene in Jackson ranges from smaller mom-and-pop eateries to restaurants with James Beard award-winning chefs.
- Cultural organizations in Jackson include Ballet Mississippi, Jackson State University Botanical Garden, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.
- Mississippi Braves – the Southern League AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves – play out of Trustmark Park in nearby Pearl.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks Mississippi Baptist Medical Center and Batson Children’s Hospital among the best hospitals in Jackson.
Get Out the Map
Where to begin your search? Roofstock created a heat map of Jackson based on our Neighborhood Rating, a dynamic algorithm that enables you to make informed investment decisions by measuring school district quality, home values, employment rates, income levels and other vital investment criteria.
DARK GREEN: 4-5 star neighborhood
LIGHT GREEN: 3.5-4 star neighborhood
YELLOW: 2.5-3 star neighborhood
ORANGE: 2 star neighborhood
RED: 1 star neighborhood
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