SHREVEPORT, La -- The U.S. Housing Market suffered its worst year in half a century in 2011. So far in 2012, it has failed to recover.
According to an AP source, at the end of last week, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.89 percent, down from 4.8 percent last year. 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.24 percent, dropping from 4.09 percent last year. Several markets have seen huge declines in home values. Atlanta saw a decline of 11.8 percent, followed by Las Vegas at 9.1 percent.
While many suffered painful losses, some places saw a comparative boom. Realtor.com released a list of the five best housing markets in 2011. The Shreveport/Bossier City area ranked second, only behind Ft. Myers, FL. Our area locally saw a median list price of homes jump to $168,000, which was a 7.01% gain.
Chris LeGrand with Reality Executives in Shreveport says that one of the reasons the Shreveport/Bossier City area has thrived is the low interest rates nationally.
"Lets say seven years ago, interest rates were almost twice what they were now, over the long run that saves people thousands and thousands of dollars," said LeGrand.
Some places have been unable to take advantage of the low rates because of a slumping economy. That hasn't been the case in the Shreveport/Bossier City area, where the economy has continued to thrive.
The unemployment rate locally has hovered around 6 percent, well below the national average.
David Hoass, Professor of Economics in the Frost School of Business at Centenary College says that this has allowed job seekers the ability to tap into the wide variety of industry in the area. This includes the Haynesville Shale, the casinos and other staples.
According to an AP source, with the spring home selling season on the horizon, many expect the housing market nationally could recover this year.
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