NAHB Spring Construction Webinar Forecasts Strong Housing Growth

When comparing statistics in housing trends, the National Association of Home Builders place Louisiana in the top tier of states leading housing recovery nationwide.  The top states include Montana, North Dakota, and Utah, and the 2nd tier of states include Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alaska.  There are several factors that contribute to Louisiana’s (and other states’) housing recovery.  Some states, such as the top 3 states of Montana,2-Woodstone, Lot 25 Exterior North Dakota, and Utah did not have as big of housing bubbles as other states.  Therefore, their “fall” during the Recession was not as great, so their housing recovery was faster and better.  States like Texas and Louisiana are mainly energy sector states, so the Recession did not cut as deeply into employment and statewide income as other states.  Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has consistently held one of the highest rankings in housing recovery since the beginning of 2015 which helps with Louisiana’s housing statistics.

“The basic principle remains the same,” said NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk. “A strong economy – whether helped, hindered or unaffected by the energy economy – will be a key factor driving housing recoveries going forward.”

Economists predict that by the end of 2017, the top tier states will have a housing recovery of 102% of normal (based on statistics pulled of the housing numbers during the last “normal” housing market pre-Recession).  The bottom tier states will have recovered to just 65% of where they were before the Recession.  The reason for the predicted recovery numbers in 2017 is based on the underlying housing market fundamentals of population and insulation-1job growth which are typical in driving supply and demand in real estate.  The cycles of “boom and bust” are mostly over according to Denk.

“A common theme has emerged,” said Denk. “The progress of market recovery is no longer a function of the boom-and-bust cycle marked by price bubbles, excess supply and foreclosures. The key driver of the housing recovery is now back to the underlying housing market fundamentals of population and job growth.”

Factors that will help builders and sellers to sell their new homes for sale and homes for sale are a predicted increase in household formation by home buyers that were previously unable to secure a mortgage, stabilized home pricing that now offers tiers of homes for sale available and affordable to purchase, less foreclosures, rising employment and the first increase in wages in over 8 years, and home prices that are in line with incomes and rents making it an easier transition from renting to owning.

If you are a new home buyer who is interested in building your own custom, dream home in West St. Tammany Parish, Ron Lee Homes in Covington, Louisiana, offers full-service home building strategies such as custom home design, engineered floorplans, complete “end-to-end” home construction supervised by Ron Lee, financing and insurance assistance, and a hands-on approach to building new, custom homes in the Greater New Orleans area.  For More Information, Call 985-626-7619 or E-mail

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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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Good news for St. Tammany Parish homeowners and business owners is that they won’t have to “jump through hoops” in order to get their repair and renovation construction off the ground following the historic flood that hit Covington, Louisiana, inundating the city with water from 3 different river sources and shutting down roads and

businesses for several days.  The City of Covington has waived the requirement for building permit fees under an ordinance approved by the City Council.

Mayor Mike Cooper said most of the floodwaters had receded by Tuesday and residents were in clean up mode.

“Things are moving,” Cooper said. “The city is doing what it can to help.”

With 100 total structures and counting being reported with flood damage, not only would the fees and requirements be cost prohibitive to the city, but they would hold up the restoration of people’s homes and businesses which would only cause the city to suffer because of the lack of production.

In order to assist homeowners with their repairs, the city is also requiring any contractor or builder working on a flood damaged home who applies for a permit to be a state licensed contractor.  This should reduce the amount of fraud that happens when huge storms cause damage in the Greater New Orleans area.  Because state licensing

requires proof of general liability insurance, homeowners can also breathe easy while the contractor or builder is working on their home.

The main culprits of the flooding were the Bogue Falaya and Little Tchefuncte Rivers in northern Covington.  One of the storm’s casualties was the Bogue Falaya Park in downtown Covington, which will be closed until further notice until the repairs to the wooden pavilion and playground equipment can be done.  St. Tammany Parish is applying for disaster relief for the storm that brought so much damage and it is the mayor of Covington’s hope that this funding will be made available to Covington’s residents who need it.  Parish-wide, so far it has been counted that 615 structures received flood damage in St. Tammany Parish.

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The National Association of Home Builders monitors the construction industry so it can be the first to report both positive and negative news to the real estate industry and if necessary, to Congress.  Since the housing industry is one of the leaders in economic growth and development in the United States, and the national economy depends on real estate for a good portion of the GDP, the health of the real estate industry if of prime importance to those vendors, contractors, and builders who are involved in its day-to-day production.

To that end, construction spending was reported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to have Building a Raffle House for Charitygrown in November, 2015.  Private residential construction which includes homeowner improvements, DIY remodeling and renovations, and other types of repairs saw an increase in construction spending of 5.9% from November, 2014.  Single-family construction spending was up 9% over the same period and multi-family construction spending was up 12%.

From November, 2015, to December, 2015, private residential construction spending increased by .12%.  Single-family home construction spending increased to $231 billion which is a 1% increase from November.  Multi-family spending increased to $53 billion – a 2.66% increase.  Interestingly, if multi-family spending levels off to a steadier pace, which it is predicted to do in 2016, the trend in real estate suggests that single-family home construction will begin to increase.

In the commercial sector, an increase of 45% in the manufacturing-related construction from December, 2014, to December, 2015, drove an overall increase of 8% year-over-year in commercial construction spending.

Since the Great Recession, the real estate industry has been on a continuous climb of recovery once the housing market started to turn around.  The numbers at the end of 2015 reflect this slow but steady progress for builders, contractors, remodelers, and renovators, as well as all of the construction employees involved in projects nationwide.

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Good news for Northshore Mardi Gras attendees comes in the form of two holidays colliding the weekend of February 6th and 7th.  The final crescendo to Mardi Gras weekend happens to fall on the same weekend as the Super Bowl, so parade goers on the Northshore get a treat to an exclusive Northshore Mardi Gras Parade on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville, Louisina.

The Krewe of Tcheufuncte Boat Parade will “sail” on Saturday, February 6th at 1pm.  In addition to being a parade

on water on the North Shore, as well as the only Saturday parade on the Northshore, the Krewe of Tchefuncte also has judges available to judge participants in the parade on their boat decorations and costumes.  This year’s theme is Shaken, Not Stirred, and boater participants are expected to dress up and decorate in the theme of James Bond.  There are still available spaces left on the Krewe for $150 for a year’s membership which also includes a krewe T-shire and commemorative martini glass.
On the ground for parade goers and watchers, the Madisonville Community Benefit Organization, a new organization in St. Tammany Parish will be providing food and music on the riverfront of the Tchefuncte before, during, and after the parade.  Participating local restaurants will also be selling their wares and food to parade attendees.  Ironically, the Krewe of Tchefuncte is technically a boat parade, but people who attend will actually walk down the riverfront to the DOCKED boats to receive beads and trinkets thrown from the boat floats.

“I certainly am looking forward to a great time on the riverfront for the Krewe and the parade goers. We are praying for good weather. It’s carnival time and I’m happy to be a part of the Krewe of Tchefuncte,” said Parade Captain, Keith Dennis.

To participate in the boat parade contact Dennis at or call him at 985.264.8886. Co-boat Captain Lynn Haas can also be reached at 985.966.5619.

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The Northshore Home Builders Association (HBA) in St. Tammany Parish is once again, in 2016, building a Raffle House for Charity called Raising the Roof for Charity.  A new home is constructed by member of the Home Builders Association of St. Tammany Parish on the North Shore, and then, this home is auctioned off to raise funds for several chosen local charities.  This year’s recipients include Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana, Building a Raffle House for Charitythe Covington Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity-St. Tammany West and the Tammany Trace Foundation.

The new Raffle House is being built by Integrity Builders in Spring Haven Subdivision in Madisonville, Louisiana.  Tickets are sold by members of the Northshore Home Builders Association to colleagues and associates in order to raise funds.  The HBA will be having two early drawings for Raffle House tickets – one on March 19th and one on April 16th.  Winners of these two drawings will receive a $1,500 reward.  The final Raffle House drawing will be held at the new, custom home in Spring Haven on June 4, 2016.  Special events will be held in the months leading up to the Raffle House drawing where opportunities to win a free raffle ticket will be available.

The new, custom home being built by the St. Tammany Parish builder member is a 2,600 square foot home of living space with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths which was designed by DesignTech Residential Planners.  The value of the home is estimated at $422,000.  This open floorplan includes a flowing design throughout the living room, dining, room, and kitchen.  The living room also has a gorgeous fireplace and coffered ceiling.  The kitchen includes an oversized kitchen island with breakfast bar and undermount sink.  Granite countertops, real wood cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances complete this deluxe kitchen setup.  The master suite features an oversized walk-in closet off of the sumptuous master bath, complete with centered tub with a separate shower flanking.  For outdoor entertainment, this new, custom home has a huge, covered outdoor patio, complete with outdoor kitchen setup.

In addition to the grand prize of the Raffle House being given away to a lucky recipient, there will be other prizes given out on the day of the drawing to winning raffle ticket holders.  The Raffle House is an important part of raising money for local charities as well as rewarding a St. Tammany Parish resident with a new home.  Don’t miss out on your opportunity to view this new, custom home in Madisonville, Louisiana.

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New protections by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) kicked in the first of October, but their effects were not felt until November when delayed closings affected home sales numbers nationwide.  The plunge in new home sales was expected because of the delays that the new system incurred coming out the gate.

The new system for closing new home loans and home loans included a drastic overhaul of the traditional HUD 2-lot-29-willow-bend(Settlement Statement), and this new document, called the CD (Closing Disclosure) had multiple checks and balances throughout the Good Faith Estimate all the way to closing to ensure that home buyers know what every aspect of their home buying process is about.

Despite the expected slowdown in home sales in November, the National Association of Realtors said that solid gains in real estate have been seen throughout the entire year of 2015.

Another factor contributing to an adjustment in home sales numbers is the fact that home values are increasing a rate that is double that of typical wages.  Year-over-year, home values have increased 6.3% in November to $220,300.  The good news is that wages exist with an improving job market and still historically low framing-3interest rates are encouraging buyers and refinancers to get their loans done before there is a significant increase in the interest rate.

Still, builders will have to get busy in 2016 because the real estate market is still showing a gap between availability and inventory for new home buyers.  New home builders can fill this gap with newly constructed homes which will help balance out home prices.

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New jobs in the form of construction work and employee hiring is happening in Mandeville, Louisiana, in St. Tammany Parish.  Florida Marine, LLC, currently located off of the west side service road between Fairway (Judge Tanner) Drive and Hwy. 22, is doubling its commercial construction space from 27,500 square feet to 55,000 square feet and is expected to cost approximately $7.2 million.  The move will bring in 40 new Florida Marine jobs and approximately 180 jobs in construction including contractors and sub-contractors.

As part of the nonprofit business retention program offered by the St. Tammany Parish Economic Development Foundation, Florida Marine has focused on retention and expansion of its business and services over the past 14 3

years in Mandeville, Louisiana.  It purchased the present office building which it is now expanding in 2004.

“We have been very happy in St. Tammany Parish and are pleased to be expanding our offices,” said Dennis A. Pasentine, owner and CEO of Florida Marine.

In addition to the much needed commercial work space that the expansion of new construction will offer, the new campus-style building will also have an outdoor kitchen and courtyard for employee and customer events.  In case of inclement weather, the buildings will be fitted and retrofitted to include backup generators to restore power. The project has been designed by Greenleaf Architects and is being constructed by Kent Design Build.

“We congratulate Florida Marine on their expansion,” Parish President Pat Brister said. “The maritime industry is woven into the fabric of our community, and this growth will provide job opportunities and positive economic impact.”

In addition to the commercial construction of office space in Mandeville, LA, in St. Tammany Parish, Florida Marine is also expanding its shipyard in Harvey.  This West Bank expansion will create 200 additional jobs as well.

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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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Real estate professionals have expressed concerns as to the state of the interest rate in today’s housing market because there are rumors that the interest rate is about to be raised by the Federal Reserve (The Fed).  Because of these fears, many homeowners have hurried up to refinance their homes with these historically low interest rates while home buyers have been “coming off the fence” more rapidly than normal to buy a new home.  These worries can be set aside for now as The Fed has decided not to raise interest rates during their last meeting citing a weak global economy, low inflation, and unstable financial markets.

However, there are some aspects to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a new home as soon as possible25-54 Maison du Lac Exterior Rear 1 before interest rates “go back up.”  The first point is that even if interest rates do go up, they are not forecast to go up by much upon raising.  The increase in the interest rate will STILL be lower than any record of interest rate lows in the past.  This means that you will still be able to maximize the amount of money you use to buy your new home with lower interest rates.

The second aspect to consider is that the increase in the interest rate means that the U.S. economy and job market are getting better which means more and better jobs for home buyers interested in buying a home. Waiting until you have the right job and the financial ability to buy a home is a better choice than “squeaking by” to be able to buy a home at a lower interest rate with no stability in your financial future.

Finally, when The Fed does raise interest rates, this is good for investors and employees with retirement accounts because interest rates for these types of savings and money making accounts go up as The Fed raises the interest rate.

Even though The Fed’s decision is to not raise interest rates at this time, interest rates are expected to go up as soon as the end of 2015.  Whether they go up or not, now is the time to take advantage of the incredible financing offers to buy your home while interest rates are low, credit restrictions are easing, and down payment assistance has once more been established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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