Shortages aren’t limited to store shelves – anyone looking for an apartment or house to rent in southern Mississippi has found the selection to be scarce.

The apartment occupancy rate climbed to 97.2% in Mississippi, according to Real page, which follows real estate trends across the country. This means that less than 3% of apartments and rental homes on the coast and in the state are available.

A sign posted at Apartment Houses in Highland Springs north of Ocean Springs posted a message on the door for those showing up without an appointment.

“We have no availability to offer and due to the excessively long waiting list we have decided to block it,” the post said.

The waiting list will reopen based on the number of units open in the coming months, the sign said.

The gated apartment complex just north of Exit 50 of I-10 has amenities like a swimming pool, fitness center, and on-site laundry facilities. It is also subject to income restrictions, which keeps rents high. more affordable rates of $ 620 for a one bedroom unit, $ 743 for two bedrooms and $ 851 for three bedrooms.

A few kilometers from Arbor View Apartments in D’Iberville, the market price for a one bedroom apartment – without subsidies to reduce the rent – starts at $ 869 and increases due to the size of the unit.

The waiting list for a one-bedroom apartment in Arbor Village in Gulfport is a page long, and an application fee of $ 50 is required there and at several other apartment complexes to be on a list. ‘waiting. The wait can last a few months or more, potential tenants of Arbor Village are advised.

The coast is a hot rental market

New construction at Arbor Landing on the River Apartments in Biloxi on Friday December 10, 2021. Hannah Ruhoff [email protected]

The Southeast region has been a popular location for many tenants looking to relocate from expensive gateway markets like Atlanta and Nashville, according to the report.

Beach towns are particularly desirable, Jay Parsons, deputy chief economist at RealPage, said in the latest marketing intelligence report.

People are moving to cities that aren’t just a spring break destination, he said, and have more to do than a cool beach scene.

Those who move to southern Mississippi from other parts of the country find rents lower than their previous homes.

Mississippi has one of the the lowest rents in the country, according to the Rent Report 2021 released in November by, but Mississippi also has the lowest per capita income in the countryside.

The nationwide average monthly rent for a one bedroom unit is $ 1,670. It’s $ 842 – or about half – in Mississippi.

The apartment shortage is forcing rents to rise in Mississippi and across the country, with every state seeing rents for one-bedroom apartments rise last year.

The cost of that one-bedroom apartment in Mississippi increased by $ 101 a month last year, according to the report. Tenants at The Reserve apartment complex in St. Martin recently received a notice to increase from $ 100 per month to over $ 1,000 per month.

What is it to look for a house

Tina Greenlee, who has been looking for rental accommodation since August, looks out the window of her daughter’s house in Ocean Springs on Thursday, December 9, 2021. Greenlee has had to stay with friends and family as she struggles to find a place available for hire. Hannah ruhoff [email protected]

“I tried to find housing everywhere,” said Tina Greenlee, who returned to the coast about six months ago after selling her home in North Carolina.

“I sold my house very easily, like in a week,” she said, and at a price of $ 37,000 more than what she paid.

A disabled veteran, she wants to rent instead of buying a house in southern Mississippi. She contacted an independent military housing agency for help finding accommodation. The agency told her an apartment would open before she moved out, but now the agency is no longer helping civilians and Greenlee is looking for accommodation for herself.

She stayed with a friend for a while. “Now I am staying with my daughter,” she said.

She rented a “cute little house” in the St. Andrews area near Ocean Springs for $ 850 about five years ago, she said. Now someone is renting it for $ 1,200.

“Due to the housing shortage and sky-high rental prices, I couldn’t find suitable accommodation within my means,” she said.

Greenlee said she was on a waiting list for a first-floor apartment near Gautier which she hopes to move into soon.

Why so few rentals?

Like a perfect storm, the reasons why the rental occupancy rate is so high on the Coast are many and all at the same time.

“More new tenants are knocking on the front door than ever, but fewer existing tenants than ever are leaving the back door” Parsons said.

During COVID-19, many people have not moved and are now more likely to move, said Brian Carberry, editor-in-chief of, whether in the same city or in a different part of the country.

“Also, at the start of the pandemic, we saw a lot of people move in with friends and family to consolidate households and split the bills to save money,” he said. “Some of these people are now returning on their own, adding to the current demand for rental housing.

With housing prices soaring, people who cannot afford to buy a house are renting houses or apartments.

“While the home buying market has cooled from where it was at the start of the year, home prices are still on the rise in many areas,” he said. , “and people who were hoping to buy a house may have been overpriced. neighborhoods or areas they were looking for, so they continue to rent.

Homeowners can get more for their apartments short term rental, especially when rentals are on or near the beach. A two-bedroom apartment in downtown Ocean Springs rents for $ 146 per night as a vacation rental, which would earn $ 2,920 per month if rented for 20 days. A luxury rental at Biloxi Beach or St. Louis Bay can exceed $ 1,000 a night.

Wendy Lassebe, property manager of Rental management at Gulfport, deals strictly in long term rentals. Recent listings ranged from $ 550 for a one-bedroom house in Moss Point to $ 1,600 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Gulfport.

“We now have people moving into the area,” she said, and looking to rent homes in the areas she serves in Harrison and Jackson counties.

She gave a number of reasons why rentals are scarce and prices are increasing:

â–ª The military was not transferred during the height of COVID-19, she said, but now her company is signing numerous military inquiries and leases.

â–ª During the moratorium on evictions, rentals were almost on hold, she said, with no one moving and no one entering the area.

â–ª While homes and apartments typically have 10 tenant rotations per month, men’s complexes have only seen one or two rotations in recent months.

â–ª As home selling prices started to rise, landlords sold their rental homes to take advantage of the higher prices.

â–ª Few rental house construction was underway during the pandemic.

â–ª Rental prices are going up because taxes went up with the last real estate appraisal, she said, and insurance rates are going up.

New apartments to come. Will this help?

Several large apartment complexes are under construction in southern Mississippi, which will increase inventory.

Now a rare sight, signs along Popp’s Ferry Road show one to three bedroom units available in the new Landing at D’Iberville complex under construction. One-bedroom apartments start at $ 1,005. Applications are available online and a fee of $ 350 is required to register, including an application fee of $ 50, an application deposit of $ 150, and an administration fee of $ 150.

More apartment buildings are being constructed on US 90 in East Ocean Springs and Arbor Landing on the River in Biloxi, where several buildings are under construction next to the existing apartment complex.

With long waiting lists in many apartments, these new units could go quickly. And the higher cost of lumber and building materials since the pandemic will mean higher rents.

“While this can help add more aggregate units to the market, it can actually drive up rental prices even more,” Carberry said. “If the new resorts are luxurious or located in red light districts, their price will likely be at or above the average for that region. This will only drag the average down, and if tenants are willing to pay those higher prices, you may see other existing resorts raising their rates to match.

Thursday, May 7, 2020. Hannah Ruhoff [email protected]

This story was originally published 16 December 2021 14:57.