With the 22.6% increase of single-family home construction starts compared to the previous month and year of March, 2015, real estate nationwide has taken a very positive step forward.  In addition to a substantial increase in new home starts, there is good and bad news when it comes to new homes being built and put up for sale in the real estate market.  The bad news is that builders are finding it difficult to procure land to build new homes, as1-Lot 34 Autumn Creek Front Exterior well as the labor required to start and complete a new home project in a timely manner.  On the flip side, that is also good news in that there are now a tremendous amount of construction jobs available for those trained and experienced in the construction industry.

The lack of land and lots to build also increases the new home buyers’ demand across the entire United States, making it so that builders are building new homes “on demand” for prospective homeowners.  Now home buyers are waiting on builders to supply new homes to buy whereas just a few years ago, it was builders waiting on home buyers to be able to buy a 1.5 years’ supply of new homes.

Existing home inventory currently in the market is also really tight according to the National Association of 17-Lot 207 Fully Bricked Back PatioRealtors.  Right now, existing home inventory is at just a 4.5 month supply – really good news for sellers and Realtors, but not such good news for home buyers.  However, existing home sales increased 5.1% in March, despite the dearth of homes available to buy.

If home buyers are in the market for a new home and can afford to wait to be able to build their dream home, they may consider buying a new custom home from local builder Ron Lee Homes in St. Tammany Parish.  Custom homes built by this award winning builder are “worth the wait,” and by using Ron Lee Homes, buyers get full-service attention on the new custom home building process.  Ron Lee Homes designs floorplans, builds new custom homes, assists with financing, and literally walks home buyers through the home building process from start to finish.  So, if you would like to Consult with a Custom Home Builders in West St. Tammany Parish, Call 985-626-7619 or E-mail


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Whatever type of home construction you are planning – a new, custom home or a complete remodel / renovation of your existing home – you will want to pay attention to the trends that are showing up in remodeled or newly built new homes.  Below are several trends that are popular among contractors, builders, and homeowners.

1. Luxurious garden tubs or jetted garden tubs have held steady in home construction for years, but for 2016, the trend is shower stalls or walk-around showers with shelving and seating.  There are some really unique shower designs that include multiple shower heads and even massage sprays.

2. For your backsplash, trim, or even walls and floors, ceramic tile is not as popular now among renovators and builders as glass tile.  The glass tile comes in many different colors as well as designs with multiple colors, so choose your matching design and go crazy!

3.  When stepping up to the gourmet kitchen or luxurious master bath, granite countertops used to be the ultimate material that reflected the type of construction of your new home or remodel.  There is a new material that is called engineered quartz that is not only tougher than granite and lasts longer, but it has the same timeless, classic, and upscale design for your custom counter work.

4.  Toilets naturally came in lower to the floor sizes for decades, but now there are choices of toilet heights that are available to new home buyers, and buyers are choosing height over flow.  The new, higher toilets are also more water efficient and modern, saving some homeowners on utility bills.

5.  Along with ornate, custom-built, real wood cabinetry; home buyers and remodelers now have a choice of painted, stained, and dark wood cabinetry vs. the traditional oak cabinets that 003were standard for new home construction projects.  Choose and contrast these colors as well with a two-toned look in the kitchen or bathroom.

6.  Even though, we as a custom home builder still encourage you to buy reliable appliances throughout your home, the industry has caught up with technology, so some home buyers and home renovators are now going with a mid-range level of appliance vs. a high-end appliance package.  The appliances themselves seem to have the same duration of service, and you can also purchase upper end looking fixtures, such as stainless steel to achieve the look you want without all of the cost.

7.  Back to the basics – homeowner and savvy new home buyers know to renovate and build their homes with real wood flooring such as solid oak or pine instead of engineered flooring.  While the look and cost of an engineered floor is great for the first few years, the results after many years of wear and tear don’t stand the test of time, weather, and constant use.  Homeowners and new home buyers will be looking to find affordable real wood choices for their flooring.

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Even though the housing market has been making incredible strides in its recovery since its low in 2008, one of the major obstacles that has been holding the sale of real estate back is the lack of supply for the growing demand of home buyers.  New home buyers especially have been stymied by a lack of inventory from local builders.  Builders themselves have been frustrated by the tightened funding requirements for construction loans from79 Oleander Carriage Style Garage banks and lenders, so there is been a “stalemate” of sorts going on in the new home industry.

However, good news is on the horizon for real estate because single-family home starts have been on the rise and holding steady over most of the months of 2015.  Single-family home startss remained steady from August to September with 740,000 starts nationwide for both months.  Overall, housing starts (including multi-family housing) increased by 6.5% and reached the 1.2 million mark – the highest its been since October, 2007.

From a yearly perspective, quarter-over-quarter, single-family home starts are up 5.7% 3rd quarter from second quarter with a total of 746,000 home starts.  The numbers year-over-year show that single-family home starts are up 11% compared to 2014.

Another strong sign of new home real estate recovering is the number of housing permits for single-family home starts.  The number of permits for single-family homes went up 9.4% year-over-year and also remained unchanged compared to the previous month of August from September, 2015. Trends also show that money of the new home purchases are coming from “contingency sales” where a home buyer has a house to sell and wants to build or buy new which is excellent news for new home builders.

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Just like summer in Louisiana is hot in July, the housing market nationwide heated up this summer with new home sales activity rising to 507,000 homes sold. The Census Bureau and HUD reported that newly built home 2015 Parade of Homessales rose 5.4% from June and 25.8% from July of last year. New home inventories were reported at 218,000 in July which is the highest level that has been seen in over five years.

This increase was also seen in the private residential construction spending where the highest amount spent was at an annual rate of $387 billion in July. This increase in spending verifies that the construction industry is continuing to experience strong economic growth. Single family homes have pushed construction expansion 15.8% on a year-over-year basis and multifamily new home construction spending is 21.2% higher than it was reported a year ago as well.

Developers, new home builders, and custom home builders are not the only ones that are seeing a positive growth, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports increase in existing home sales. Existing home sales increased in July 0.5% from June and 7.4% from July of last year. Completed transactions were reported at the highest since February 2007, which was the beginning of the downhill slide of the Recession.

Home buyer confidence stems from the strengthening economy overall with increased spending. The Bureau of pelican-park-dog-parkEconomic Analysis reports that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew to a strong 3.7% rate. These findings were based on several factors including investment, faster growth for consumption, government spending and trade components.

Now is the time for buyers to tap into the housing market. Sales are solid which makes the real estate market a stable vested interest. New home prices are continuing to strengthen making real estate a great investment. Interest rates continue to remain at record lows with the reluctance of the Fed to increase interest rates. The Department of Housing and Urban Development have rolled out new loan products which require a much lower down payment on FHA and some conventional mortgages. Best of all, there is a spectacular new home builder in St. Tammany Parish which builds new, custom home exactly to your specifications and design. These new homes are designed and built to withstand the test of time and elements with energy efficient green building techniques as well as the best, most quality components to ensure the strongest and best built new home in St. Tammany Parish. For More Information, Call 985-626-7619 or E-mail


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The housing market is still on the rise and continues to improve according to the findings by the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI).  The LMI was developed to record and monitor the recovery of select markets throughout the United States due to the Recession. There are three components (average permit, price and employment levels) that are scored in more than 360 metro areas over a 12 month period.  The scores for 7-Lot 104 Maison du Lac Family Room 2these components are then divided by each of their annual averages over the last period of normal growth.  The three component averages are then averaged together giving the overall score for each market.  For single-family permits and new home prices, 2000-2003 is used as the last normal period, and for employment, 2007 is used for the last normal period.

What all of this means in a nutshell is that major metro cities throughout the United States are being monitored for an increase or decrease in real estate activity following the Recession.  The percentages are calculated each month by the National Association of Home Builders and distributed amongst the public and real estate markets so that investors have an idea of how the real estate recovery is progressing nationwide.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is one of the top recovering cities on the list of major metros on the LMI and is doing 47 9-54 Maison du Lac Living Room 2percent better than the last findings recorded for the normal market level.  Southeast Louisiana shows an 85 to 92 percent recovery to the normal market level.  In fact, 75 markets out of the 360 metro areas beat their last normal levels of economic and housing activity during the second quarter this year which showed a year-over-year net gain of 13 markets (66% of markets have shown an improvement year over year).  This quarter’s LMI shows that more than half the markets nationwide have reached a 90% or above their normal market level. We are almost back to 100% of normal economic and housing activity that we had before the recession.

“The markets are gradually improving and economic and job growth continue to strengthen, which bodes well for housing for the remainder of the year,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods.

Out of the three components of the LMI, housing prices have shown the strongest recovery with 345 markets at the same or above their last normal level. Behind that is the economic level where 64 markets are at their normal market level or have exceeded their normal market level. Housing permit level is lagging behind with only 26 markets at normal or above normal market level.

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