According to the Louisiana Realtors Third Quarter Trends Report: Louisiana Home Sales Jumped 20 Percent compared to the Third Quarter of 2010. Year to date, the number of houses sold in the state is up 2.7 percent over last year. The average sales price of a home in Louisiana in the third quarter was $184,971, down 0.9 percent from the same period in 2010, but up marginally over a three year span. “Home values have remained stable in Louisiana despite ongoing economic uncertainty,” said Malcom Young President of Louisiana Realtors. . “Our third quarter average sales price shows a slight increase of about 1.5 percent since late 2008 when the economic downturn began.”
What Can We Expect in 2012?
Although the housing market struggled to maintain an even footing in 2011, gradual improvement is expected in 2012 and beyond, according to projections at a residential forum during the National Association of REALTORS Conference & Expo in Anaheim last week. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said home sales should be stronger. “Tight mortgage credit conditions have been holding back home buyers all year, and consumer confidence has been shaky recently,” he said. Yun projects growth in Gross Domestic Product to be 1.8 percent this year, then rising moderately at a rate of 2.2 percent in 2012. With job growth of 1.7 to 2.2 million next year, the unemployment rate is expected to decline to 8.7 percent by the second half of 2012. Mortgage interest rates should gradually rise from recent record lows and reach 4.5 percent by the middle of 2012. “Housing affordability conditions, based on the relationship between median home prices, mortgage interest rates, and median family income, have been at a record high this year,” Yun said. “Very favorable affordability conditions will dominate next year as well, which will probably be the second best year on record dating back to 1970. Our hope is that credit restrictions will ease and allow more home buyers to take advantage of current opportunities.”
Existing-home sales are forecast to edge up about 1 percent this year, and then rise another 4 to 5 percent in 2012. Yun also shared his thoughts regarding the mortgage industry…. “If we could maintain sound and reasonable mortgage underwriting standards, the market would be able to avoid a future big boom and bust cycle, but mortgage standards remain overly stringent.”
Summarizing the major points from trends and economist projections:
- Home values in Louisiana are stable
- Average home price of a Louisiana home during the 3rd quarter of 2011 was $184,971
- Louisiana has had increase in home sales compared to prior years and year to date
- Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2012 to 4.5%
- Affordability of Homes will still be favorable for Buyers
My interpretation and summary from the trends and economist projections is:
- Even a 4.5% interest rate is still a low rate! If you are on the fence what are you waiting for?
- Mortgage Underwriting needs to ease or “lighten up” with conditions!!!
- In order for more home buyers to take advantage of the affordability of a home, buyers have to be able to “qualify” for a mortgage.
If you are considering a home purchase check with your local lender and inquire about different financing options and programs that will fit your needs. Once you know what type of loan you qualify for and your budget, you are ready to begin your Lake Charles Home Search!
I look foward to hearing from you and would welcome the opportunity to assist you. Contact MARILYN BOUDREAUX, Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.’s 337-499-9592
Marilyn Boudreaux is a Full Time Licensed REALTOR in the State of Louisiana affiliated with Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.’s.
Copyright 2011© Marilyn Boudreaux
Marilyn Boudreaux, REALTOR® 337-499-9592
Century 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.’s
4410 Nelson Road
Lake Charles, LA USA 70605