Home & Family
The State of the Housing Market in Southwest Louisiana
4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Housing Market

Nationally, home prices and mortgage interest rates are somewhat low but on the rise. According to bankrate.com, on average, a 30-year fixed mortgage comes with an interest rate of 4.49%. In Louisiana, the average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.37%. Home prices across the state are relatively stable, making Louisiana a lukewarm market with not a lot of activity, according to zillow.com.

Locally, the Lake Charles-Sulphur area seems to be similar to the rest of the country – with a few exceptions. Parts of Southwest Louisiana have been labeled by zillow.com as buyer's markets while some areas have been declared very active seller's markets. This is based on three factors: the sale-to-list price ratio, price cuts on home listings, and time on the market.

Tommy Eastman of Flavin Realty says these and other factors affect market activity, but signs point to this area being a buyer's market overall. "In Southwest Louisiana, [market activity] depends on the price range that you are buying in," said Eastman. "However, our area has about five and a half months of inventory. This is good for buyers because there is enough inventory that sellers have to price their home right to get it sold."

A 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the Lake Charles-Sulphur area ranges from 4.32 to 5.11% and is expected to increase. There is also a slower selling rate in the area; another sign of a buyer's market. "Last year at this time, the average days on market was 84 days; now, we are just above 100 days," said Eastman, "but length of time on the market depends on the property and its location, condition, and price."

Stable and reasonably-priced homes should be a win for buyers and sellers, but increasing mortgage rates cause hesitation for some potential buyers. Yet Eastman encourages buying now. "We tell all of our clients that this is the time to buy," said Eastman. "With the rising interest rates and the fact that we do have a market where there is a healthy amount of inventory, a buyer can get a great interest rate and a nice deal on a home."

Buyer's market or seller's? Cold market or hot? Southwest Louisiana is mostly on-trend with the nation; it is currently a market that benefits the buyer. So if you're looking to buy (or sell), this may be the ideal time to lock in a lower interest rate and finalize that purchase.

For more information, call Flavin Realty at 337-478-8530.

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