Land prices in Biloxi are up. The reason? Mississippi is a poor state and so historically even homes with water views were modest. When the coast boomed, due to gambling and tourism, the land became a lot more valuable in alternative uses like hotels, casinos, and vacation homes for the rich. But it’s costly and takes a long time for developers to buy up small lots and bundle them into bigger packages. The hurricane, however, acted like nature’s form of eminent domain. With the small houses destroyed there are many sellers, bundling is becoming easier, and everyone expects that zoning will be changed to favor the developers.
Absurdly, CNN paints the speculators as almost as bad as the hurricane itself:
But what Katrina spared, the real estate rush now imperils. The arrival of speculators threatens what’s left of bungalow
neighborhoods that are among the Gulf’s oldest communities, close-knit
places of modest means where casino workers, fishermen and their
families could still afford to live near the water.
But while there is a certain sadness in seeing an old way of life decline no one is being forced to sell and those who do sell must be very pleased that there are eager buyers.
Thanks to Edward Johnson for the pointer.