Thursday, September 23, 2021

Inventory Is Rising As of July 2021's Report

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) housing inventory is starting to improve. Industry leaders predict that home prices will begin to level off as the inventory starts to increase.

As of July 2021 on a year-over-year basis sales were up by 1.5% over this time last year. Existing home sales including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops also increased. Total existing-home sales jumped 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million.

July also reported the current sales rates of unsold inventory sits at a 2.6 month supply. This is up from June 2021 but is still behind from this time last year. New construction will benefit from the low level of existing homes on the market.

Homes were on the market an average of 17 days in July which is an all-time low. This time last year homes stayed on the market for an average of 22 days. This summer homes 89% of homes that were sold stayed on the market for under a month.

Low inventory is still pushing home prices up. July reported a 17.8% increase in the median sales price of existing homes to $359,900. This is the 113th consecutive month of year-over-year increase according to the NAR. Multifamily existing homes were up 14.1% from a year ago to a median price of $307,100.

If you are in the market for a home, contact a local Realtor. Working with a local sales professional will help you save money and time. Realtors know the community the best.

Click Here For the Source of the Information.

Highway To Link St. Tammany Parish to Bogalusa Will Be Funded

Talk of a highway being built to connect St. Tammany Parish to Bogalusa has been discussed for years. The four-lane road has been on Louisiana's state project list for over thirty years. Finally, funding has come through for the project.

"My age group thought the older people were crazy," Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette, who is 45, said. "They were holding on to a hope we didn't ever see coming."

"A lot of people weren't even born when we started talking about this," Washington Parish Sen. Beth Mizell said.

The highway named La. 3241 will be funded by money from Louisiana's 4-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax. The highway which will run through St. Tammany, from Bush to I-12, will be a "vital artery for Bogalusa. The $240 million project will run from the junction of La. 40 and La. 41 in Bush south through the central part of St. Tammany Parish to connect
with I-12 and will be completed by the end of 2024.

Many sections throughout the area will benefit such as the paper mill in Bogalusa and the economic development of St. Tammany Parish. The new highway will not only allow easier access to these areas but will also create jobs. It will improve St. Tammany businesses' logistics, distribution and transportation.

This project comes at a great time for the city of Bogalusa which is starting to see growth in retirees and young families who are looking for lower housing costs.

"A young family can live here for a little bit of nothing," Perrette said of the area. "Property taxes are low, it's affordable. It's beneficial even if you had to commute."

Click Here For the Source of the Information.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Northshore, the River Parishes and Jefferson Parish Will Now Be Connected Through Cultural Tours

The New Orleans area has a vast amount of great historical and cultural tours that both visitors and residents can enjoy. The St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission, the River Parishes Tourist Commission and Jefferson CVB have come together to offer a unique tour that will begin on the Northshore, going to River Parishes and ending in Jefferson Parish. The tour will highlight the Native, Creole and African American people, heritage, culture and way of life in the triparish region and will be updated on a daily basis to cover different parts of history and culture.

The tour will start at the Northshore where patrons will visit places such as the Bayou Lacombe Museum highlighting the history of natives and a Three Sisters and Medicine Wheel Garden and the Fontainebleau State Park where 153 enslaved people who worked at Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville's sugar plantation have a historical marker. Other stops along the way will be at the Madisonville Historic Museum, Jean Baptiste Lang Creole House, the Dew Drop Jazz and Benevolent Hall, and the nine Native and African American markers on the Historic Mandeville Marker Tour.

The next stop will be in the Louisiana River Parishes. Patrons will tour Whitney Plantation and learn about the cruel labor slaves went through on sugar plantations. There is also a memorial to the 1811 Slave Revolt that is located at the plantation. The Destrehan Plantation will also be toured where an exhibit is housed honoring the 1811 Slave Revolt procession and the Rost Home Colony. On a lighter note, the tour will also go to the 1811 Kid Ory History House and the Historic Riverlands Soul River Musical Journey where life after slavery is represented.

The tour will end in Jefferson Parish where patrons will visit the Marsalis Mansion Motel Marker, Camp Parapet and learn about this safe haven for slaves that were housed here during the Civil War's Union's occupation. Local gospel artist Mahalia Jackson’s gravesite is also located onsite. Other destinations on the tour will include True Vine Baptist Church, the oldest and longest-running African American Church on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish and famous pirate Jean Lafitte's smuggling route which is now the Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

The tour is a five-day tour and can be customized. The tour is ideal for groups of around 10 - 25 but can have up to 50 people. Martha Martinez of YAYA Louisiana Tours and Travel is a certified tour guide and will accompany and lead groups if desired.

Click Here For the Source of the Information.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

St. Tammany Parish Libraries Are the Place To Go

The pandemic closed most public places for a good part of the last two years. Places are slowly starting to open back up with new procedures in place to help stop the spread of the virus. The St. Tammany Parish Library is one of them and is now open for residents to enjoy.

This fall the library will be pack with things for patrons to be involved in. The only difference, many events will be virtual programming or in-person outdoor events. Each library will maintain the rule of social distancing and the libraries have been redesigned to incorporate safety standards and features to keep patrons and library staff safe.

Masks will be required for everyone visiting the library ages five and older. Under Governor John Bel Edwards' indoor mask mandate masks must be worn by both vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons and workers. Computers will be open but only every other computer may be used and sanitizing supplies will be provided by the library.

If patrons are still leery of visiting the library, the libraries wills still offer curbside service and free wi-fi will be available in the parking lots of each library. The small libraries Abita Springs, Lacombe, Pearl River, Lee Road, Folsom, and Bush will now have evening hours on Wednesday nights.

Click Here For the Source of the Information.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Another Drop in Mortgage Rates


Mortgage interest rates have been rising from the record low rates that were seen at the beginning of 2021.  Good news for those that missed out, rates are showing a dip back towards record lows. Freddie Mac reported the 30 year fixed rates have dropped to 2.88% and the 15 year fixed rates have dropped to 2.22%. These are the lowest levels seen since the middle of February 2021.

"Since their peak at 3.18% in April, mortgage rates have declined by thirty basis points," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "While this decline is not large, it provides modest relief to borrowers who are purchasing in a market with strong home appreciation and scant inventory."

The rising house prices coupled with rising rates pushed some buyers back from purchasing. Now that the rates are dropping these buyers hopefully will start actively looking again.  George Ratiu of believes the rates will offset the higher home prices.

"For buyers seeking predictable monthly payments, the continuation of low rates will enable them to keep searching for a desirable home with the peace of mind that their housing costs will remain steady for years to come with a low fixed-rate mortgage," he said.

Another positive outcome in the home market is the home inventory is up 5%.  Sellers are encouraged by the rising home prices and are now putting their homes on the market.

"The influx of fresh listings is helping moderate record-breaking price growth, presenting more opportunities for buyers. However, affordability will remain a challenge for many first-time buyers, as the monthly payment for the typical home is still $116 higher this week than it was a year ago."

Refinancing dropped in June 2021 due to the rising rates.  June 2021 saw refinancing 30% lower than in March of 2021 and 60% down from January 2021.  Now since the rates are dipping again, now is a good time for homeowners to revisit refinancing.

If you are in the market for a new home, contact a Realtor who can help with the process from start to finish.  This is a great time for potential homebuyers to take advantage of the low mortgage rates.

Click Here For the Source of the Information.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Will the Fall Bring a Cooler Housing Market?

The National Association of Realtors says the housing market is hinting at cooling off this fall. This doesn't mean the market still will not be viable, it just will not be as hot as we have seen in the first half of 2021.

"There has been a turn in the market from superheated to still very strong," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

High home prices have detoured many from purchasing but this scenario is improving a little according to Yun. Unsold homes increased 7.3% from June 2021 to July 2021 and unsold inventory is up at a 2.6 month supply at the current sales pace. There is a balanced market currently at around a 6 month supply of homes.

"We see inventory beginning to tick up, which will lessen the intensity of multiple offers," said Yun. "Much of the home sales growth is still occurring in the upper-end markets, while the mid-to lower-tier areas aren't seeing as much growth because there are still too few starter homes available."

As of July 2021, the median home price for existing homes was up 17.8% from a year ago to $359,900. The year-over-year gains have increased for the past 113 months in a row. Cash purchases have remained strong with all-cash sales making up 23% of home sale transactions in July. This was up 16% from July 2020. Low mortgage rates are still helping the current market and homebuyers.

"Despite the ongoing challenges of today's housing market, including limited inventory, lightning-fast home sales and competition from investors with deep pockets, many buyers are finding ways to persist until they find and close on a home," said Danielle Hale, chief economist.

Click Here for the Source of the Information.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

An Uptick in Home Building Construction Times During 2020

The 2020 Survey of Construction (SOC) revealed that it took 10 days less to finish a home from authorization to completion in 2020 than in 2019. The survey also shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 7.8 months, which usually includes a little over a month from authorization to start and another 6.8 months to finish the construction.  Good news for the housing market as inventory has been very low the past year.

Depending on the function of the new construction single-family homes the time it takes to complete varies. For a house built for sale, it took the shortest amount of time which was 6.9 months from permits to completion. A new construction home built by owners took around 13 months and a home built for rent took around 10.6 months. New construction homes built by a hired contractor only took 9.7 months from permits to completion.

Time also varies by region. The region with the longest time tied with Middle Atlantic and New England at 11.6 months while the shortest was the South Atlantic division with an average of 7.8 months. The remaining regions include the Pacific at 10 months and East South Central at 9.1 months.

Hopefully, with the shorter construction times, there will be more inventory for homebuyers. If you are in the market for a new home, choose a Realtor to help you with the process.

Click Here For the Source of the Information.