OUR NECK OF THE WOODS IN SHREVEPORT AND BOSSIER IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE NATIONAL HOUSING SCENE
National real estate news is just like a national weather forecast. It doesn’t mean that much unless you are an economist or meteorologist. Most of us usually only care about what’s happening in “our neck of the woods” as The Today Show’s Al Roker always says.
So while yesterday’s headlines screamed, like this one from Reuters, “Home sales sag as prices race to record high”, we wanted to take Al’s advice and zoom in on Caddo, Bossier and Desoto Parishes.
The good news is that we don’t have the same challenges here. Far from it!
In fact, when we compared the findings from the Coldwell Banker Gosslee Monthly Report, which reviews the June sales figures from the Northwest Association of Realtors, and compared it to the data shared yesterday from the National Association of Realtors, we found that Northwest Louisiana has an active real estate market and remains one of the most affordable places to live in America.
The median sales price of the 501 homes sold in the three parishes in June was $170,000, 38.6% more affordable than the record mark of $276,900 seen across the nation. And while our prices dropped by 1% over last June, NAR reported an increase of 5.2%, the 76th straight month with year-over-year increases.
Another difference is the sales activity. While nationally, the number of home sales in June was 2.2% less than a year ago, Northwest Louisiana saw an increase of 4% to go with a slight decline in the number of available homes which was 2,285, down 1%.
The other major difference between the national and local real estate scene is how we would describe our markets. Overall, the nation is in a “seller’s” market because the supply is not meeting demand forcing buyers to have to make quicker decisions and often compete with others for a home and pay higher amounts. NAR reports the nation has a 4.3-month supply of homes, far below the 6-month mark which is described as a “balanced” market. Northwest Louisiana is right at that mark with a 5.8 month supply!
“It is important for all of us to take the national numbers with a grain of salt and focus on what is happening locally,” said Coldwell Banker Gosslee CEO Brad Gosslee. “We do not have inventory challenges here and therefore our prices remain steady. However, the high end of the market remains a concern with homes priced at $400,000 and higher staying on the market almost four times longer than the lower priced homes.”
Brad pointed out that homes priced between $100,000-$199,999 are in much tighter demand as we only have a 4.6-month supply in Bossier and Shreveport. We have a 16.2-month supply of homes priced in $400,000-$499,999 range and 26.1 months for homes priced above $500,000, the highest we have ever seen locally.
There remains a striking difference between the hot sectors in Shreveport and Bossier. For all of 2018, we have seen a 22% increase in Shreveport home sold in the $100,000-$200,000 range, while those in the $200,000-$300,000 and $300,000-$400,000 ranges dropped by 6% and 9% respectfully over 2017.
Bossier on the other hand has remained steady with 4% increases in the two more affordable price points while home sales in the $300,000-$400,000 sector have skyrocketed by 38% over last year.
Another really interesting number, especially for first time buyers who want to know what a home will “really” cost, is the list/sale price ratio. The closer that number is to 100% shows that buyers are agreeing to pay the price a home was put on the market for. Today, Northwest Louisiana is seeing homes sell within 97% of their list price meaning a home listed for $100,000 would have sold for $97,000.
This number shows that sellers are paying close attention to the advice of their real estate agents. Pricing a home too high is not helpful for either side and can cause a home to stay on the market for too long.
Hope our look at what’s happening in “our neck of the woods” is helpful!
If you are interested in buying or selling a home or are considering a career in real estate visit Coldwell Banker Gosslee at www.cbgosslee.com.