Louisville Properties Blog
Louisville Properties Blog

Economy

Price for Heating Louisville Homes Will Climb 12 Percent This Winter

Louisville area residents who are customers of LG&E can expect to see higher heating bills this winter. The utility company recently told customers that it will hike prices for natural gas by 12 percent to defray the costs of a price increase from their supplier. A LG&E representative told reporters that a typical Louisville residential customer can expect to see his or her monthly bill to climb an average of $7.33 to about $66.96 per month. The company bases that estimate on average usage of 7,000 cubic feet of gas per month. Despite the price hike, LG&E officials claim their energy prices will still be the second lowest in Kentucky. Customers may find some solace in knowing that LG&E sells natural gas at their cost to customers, so padding their margins is not the driving factor of the rate increase. The utility company does, however, earn a profit on delivery charges for providing gas and electricity. LG&E is not the only Louisville-area utility company charging higher gas prices this winter. Columbia Gas and some other utilities have announced price increases that reflect higher costs. This news is one of many reasons to hope for a mild winter this year. If you're looking for energy-saving tips to save money on utility bills all year 'round, please check out other blog posts here on our site. Many of the most effective energy-saving tips cost little or no money and begin paying for themselves right away. If you're in the market for newer, energy-efficient Louisville homes, we can help with that, too! Browse the Louisville real estate listings on our site from the comfort of your own home, and when you're ready for a tour, just give us a call at 502.744.9504!

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Existing Home Sales Up 7.6 Percent in August

August sales of existing homes brought modest relief to a struggling housing market in most areas of the country with sales up 7.6 percent from record lows. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes rose to an annual rate of 4.13 million. The NAR also reported that the 12.5-month inventory of unsold homes in the U.S. in July dropped to 3.98 million, or an 11.6-month supply. Selling prices for homes sold in August also showed modest gains of 0.8 percent with the median price for an existing home measured at $178,600. While any gains are welcome signs for the country's beleaguered housing market, some economists predict that any recovery could take a long time for many of the hardest hit housing markets. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expected the housing market to remain soft through October and November despite lower home prices and mortgage rates at record lows. "The housing market is trying to recover on its own power without the home buyer tax credit," Yun said. He reported that any recovery "will likely be slow and gradual because of lingering economic uncertainty." If you're thinking of selling your Louisville home, there are qualified buyers out there looking for their next home. Is your home getting the exposure and marketing you need to attract them? Call 502.744.9504 today and have the Louisville real estate professionals at Louisville Properties help you sell your home. Their experience, Internet marketing skills and professionalism can make all the difference when you're ready to sell your home. Whether you need a discount brokerage, FSBO assistance or a full-service Louisville real estate agent, rely on us to help you sell your home and get results!...

Kentucky, Indiana Will Receive Some of $3 Billion in Housing Aid

Kentucky and Indiana will receive portions of $3 billion in housing aid to assist unemployed homeowners who are nearing foreclosure. The Treasury Department announced recently that 17 states with unemployment rates higher than the national average will receive the funds. Under the plan, Kentucky will receive $56 million, and Indiana will get $83 million. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear was pleased with the announcement. He said, "These funds will help active job seekers bridge the gap for a few months with their mortgage payments." The Kentucky Housing Corporation is planning to announce the allocation of the funds in the coming weeks. The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority has not released their plans on how they will disburse the funds to unemployed homeowners. Struggling Kentucky homeowners who need free advice on how to keep their homes can visit www.protectmykyhome.org or call 866-830-7868. The Obama administration plans to use $1 billion to fund another program designed to provide struggling homeowners with emergency zero interest rate loans of up to $50,000 for up to two years. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is overseeing this program, and they plan to release details about it in the near future. The Louisville real estate professionals at Louisville Properties welcome any program that helps struggling homeowners remain in their homes. If you're tired of staying in your current home and are looking for a new Louisville house, condominium, farm, country estate or other type of real estate, call the experts at Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504. No other Louisville real estate company has more Louisville homes from which to choose or more experience helping people buy and sell homes....

The Housing Market of Summer 2010 Plagued by Many Factors

Real estate industry analysts' cautiously optimistic forecasts last spring of slow, but gradual growth in the country's housing market over the summer have not come to fruition. Sales of newly built homes are stagnant. Foreclosures for the first six months of 2010 are up as much as 75 percent in most urban areas. Pending sales of existing homes are sluggish. Qualified buyers with good credit are still having problems arranging mortgage financing. The combination of these and other factors is making a housing recovery difficult in most markets across the country. John Burns, who owns a real estate research and consulting company in California, predicts more rough waters for the nation's housing market for the near future. Burns says the biggest problems currently plaguing the housing market include the following:

  • Lower demand for housing due to job insecurity and high housing prices
  • A nine-month supply of unsold homes sitting on the market, which is two months above average
  • Economic uncertainty as the country continues to grapple with the recession

Burns says that near-record low mortgage rates would be a boon to home sales under normal conditions, but current conditions are anything but normal. He expects that housing markets around the country will continue to struggle as banks begin to list inventories of foreclosed homes, increasing the amount of unsold homes to 11- and possibly 13-month supplies. If you're a prospective homebuyer looking for Louisville homes for sale, the real estate professionals at Louisville Properties want you to know that current market conditions favor buyers, but the buyer's market will not last forever. For the area's best selection of Louisville houses for sale, browse the listings on our site, and give us a call at 502.744.9504 for more information.

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This is the Season for Slow Home Sales in Louisville

In general, all over the United States, the winter months (especially January) slow everything down. Retail profits decline all across the board. This also includes home sales in Louisville. Less favorable weather can be partially to blame, but also because these past few months came right after a major set of holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's). Finances are generally lower this time of year as many people are playing catch up from holiday spending. One realtor in the Louisville area reports that as of January 2010, "homes in the 80,000-150,000" ranges are selling well. It's the "high priced homes that are moving slowly." These winter-month home sales can mean great deals for buyers. If a seller is putting their home on the market for reasons other than just wanting a new residence,—relocation, financial problems, etc.—you have yourself a motivated seller. They have reasons that branch out beyond the personal desire to acquire a new home. The buyer has a better chance of being able to put in an offer under the asking price and having it accepted. In reality, if you can wait until spring to list your home, it's the best option for getting it sold quickly and possibly closer to the listing price. However, not everyone can wait for home sales in Louisville until after the colder, holiday months have passed. If you want to buy a home, you might have fewer options on the market in the winter months, but you could very well get more for your money. If you need a flat rate realtor in Louisville, contact Louisville Properties today by calling the office at 502.744.9504....

Pending Home Sales Rise Six Percent in September

The HousingWire.com report provides very welcome news to real estate professionals in most markets across the country. The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales on signed contracts were up for the eighth consecutive month in September. The NAR reported that pending sales rose 6.1 percent from August to September and were 21.2 percent higher than the previous September. "What we're witnessing is a rush of first-time buyers trying to beat the expiration of the tax credit at the end of this month," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Home values will stabilize sooner rather than over-correcting. That, in turn, will mean wealth stabilization for the vast number of middle-class families and lay the foundation for a durable economic recovery." Home sales on a regional basis improved significantly in every region but the Northeast. The home sales index in the Northeast dropped 2 percent but rose 4.9 percent in the South, 8.1 percent in the Midwest, and 10.2 percent in the West. While some real estate markets continue to struggle in the current economy, the overwhelming majority are showing improvements ranging from modest to very good. Except for markets in the Northeast, sales results continue to show signs of stabilization after a very rugged 2008. If you're a prospective homebuyer watching the Louisville real estate market closely, right now may be the best time in years to check out Louisville homes for sale. This buyer's market won't last long, so call the experts at Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504 or visit www.LouisvilleProperties.com and browse the area's most extensive listings of residential and commercial real estate in the Louisville area....

Fed Report says Louisville Area Economy Mixed

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis's Burgundy Book—a financial report issued quarterly about economic activity in Louisville, Little Rock, St. Louis and Memphis—said that the health of Louisville's economy was mixed this past summer. Published in September, the report said that car dealerships and general retailers declared some successes that were tempered by low sales in some sectors. Manufacturing declined but the service sector showed signs of stability. Louisville real estate and construction sectors declined, while agriculture and banking showed mixed results. The Fed report said that half of the general retailers and a third of the car dealers surveyed reported that their sales were up in July and the first week in August, compared to the same period a year earlier. However, one-third of the respondents in each group reported decreased sales for the same period. The report said that manufacturing in the Louisville area continued to decline, but the declines were not true for all manufacturing firms and industries. Firms that made products with coal and oil, chemicals, fabricated metals, railroad technology, and plastics all stated that they were planning to expand. The report said—contrary to other sources that monitor Louisville real estate—that Louisville home sales experienced double-digit declines while the industrial, suburban and downtown office vacancy rates rose that quarter. Louisville banks reported a decrease in lending activity for commercial and industrial loans, but lending for consumer loans and residential mortgages was mixed. Other mortgage lenders said that home loan delinquency rates had stabilized and people were putting more into savings, but at a slower pace than in previous quarterly reports....

Pending Home Sales See Sixth Straight Increase

A report released recently said that more Americans signed contracts to buy a home in July than in June, marking the longest streak of increases on record. The National Association of REALTORS® pending home sales index rose 3.2% in July after rising by 3.6% in June, which is 12% higher than July 2008, and marks the sixth straight increase since record-keeping began in 2001. The report vastly improved on forecasts by some economists who predicted a much more modest increase of 1.5 percent. Signed real estate contracts are usually considered an indicator of the health of the real estate market because they frequently take weeks, or in some cases months, to complete. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that momentum in the housing market has clearly taken a turn for the better. "The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country," he said. "Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit." People taking advantage of the tax credit for first-time homebuyers are regarded as the biggest part of the rise in home sales, but the tax credit program is scheduled to expire on November 30 and members of the NAR are concerned about what will happen when it does. The NAR said that the affordability of homes also contributed to the rise in home sales. "The average middle-income family can now spend less than 25% of monthly income to buy a median-priced home," Yun said, adding, "Housing payments as a percentage of income in 2009 are at a record low. As long as home buyers stay within their budget, mortgage payments will be very manageable."...

Louisville Reports Fewer Home-Building Permits

The U.S. Commerce Department said recently that home building permits, an indicator of future construction trends, fell last September by the largest amount in five months. The decline came at an unfortunate moment while Congress is considering whether to extend the tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The Commerce Department said that new home construction rose a meager 0.5 percent that month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000 units—a weaker than expected showing. Building permits for Louisville homes and other construction were also down for September. So far this year, Louisville and nearby towns issued 592 building permits for new single-family homes. This represents a significant decline from the 789 permits issued for the previous September, according to the City's Codes and Regulations Department website. The home construction industry nationwide has been struggling to recover this year after a steep collapse last year that helped plunge the nation's economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The building sector in Louisville and across the country has been plagued by rising unemployment and tighter access to credit for mortgages and other loans. The industry is very concerned that things will get worse if the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers expires in November as scheduled. The homebuilding industry says that extending and expanding the federal tax credit program for another twelve months would generate almost 350,000 jobs and $11.6 billion in additional tax revenues. Home and apartment construction rose in the southern United States in September by 7.1 percent. However, all other regions showed declines with building activity falling 8.8 in the West, 1.8 percent in the Midwest and 5.5 percent in the Northeast....

Louisville's Economy Still Struggling in 2009 2Q But Housing Prices Up Slightly

During the second quarter of 2009, some parts of the country saw modest gains in economic recovery, but Louisville's economy still appears to be struggling according to a Metro Monitor study released recently by the Brookings Institute. In a ranking of 100 metro areas in the U.S. measured by the unemployment rate, gross metropolitan product, housing prices and percentage of change in employment, Louisville's economy ranked in the lower half. Most of Louisville's economic problems were, in part, the number of automotive and auto-parts manufacturing businesses and financial-services companies, according to the Institute. Of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country, only twelve showed greater declines in gross metropolitan product from their peak quarter to the second quarter of 2009. In the second quarter of this year, the Louisville housing market saw a 1.5 percent increase in prices between the second quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009. Louisville real estate agents welcomed the modest gain in prices, however slight, as a sign that the area's real estate market was on the cusp of recovery. Given the diversity in Louisville's housing market, area real estate professionals are confident that Louisville commercial and residential real estate will rebound in the near future after suffering the same problems that metropolitan areas across the country are experiencing. They expect the city's residential real estate market to experience measurable gains before the commercial market as business development in the area is expected to remain flat or only see slight gains for the near future. If you need help the help of a Louisville real estate professional, please contact Louisville Properties at 502-744-9504....

Louisville Home Sales Up in August

Louisville real estate professionals report that 1084 single-family homes and condominiums sold in the area this past August, which represented a 12.3 percent increase from August 2008, but a slight decline from July's home sales in the Louisville metro area. The increase in home sales for August over the previous year was the second straight month for members of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®. July's sales interrupted a streak of nearly two years of lagging sales by posting 1276 home and condo sales, a 26 percent increase over July 2008 home sales. Greater Louisville Association of Realtors president Jan Scholtz stated that the number of homes and condos sold in August indicate the continuing stabilization of Louisville's housing market. "It's the first-time home buyers that are making the market positive right now," she said. Many first-time buyers are motivated by an $8,000 federal tax credit. She said that Louisville area home sales are expected to continue to show improvements at least through December 1 when the tax credit program for first-time homebuyers is expected to end. If the tax credit program does not extend, she said consumer confidence will determine how the Louisville real estate market performs. Louisville homebuilders and realtors remain optimistic that the tax credit program will cause a "trickle up" recovery that will boost sales of more expensive homes in the area as first-time homebuyers move to larger homes with more amenities. The median selling price for homes sold in August 2009 was $136,800—down from $140,000 in August 2008, although a significant improvement from February 2009 $119,000 median selling price....

Louisville's Recovery from the Recession Lagging behind Other U.S. Cities

Louisville real estate professionals, merchants and other businesspeople got some unwelcome news recently when the Brookings Institute published a report that indicated Louisville is lagging behind other U.S. cities in recovering from the recession. Key economic indicators for the first quarter of 2009 presented to elected officials from Louisville showed that while the city was showing some signs of recovery from the recession, it was not recovering as quickly as hoped. The report ranks 100 metropolitan areas around the U.S. in several categories and the greater Louisville area—which comprises 13 Indiana and Kentucky counties—ranked in the lower half of cities in four of six categories. In unemployment, Louisville ranked 78 out of 100. In the total economy produced by the Louisville area, or gross metropolitan product, the city was 99 for the first quarter of 2009. In average wages, Louisville ranked 95. However, the news wasn't all bad for the Louisville metro area. Louisville home prices ranked 24 and in real-estate owned properties, the city came in at 46. Reacting to the news, Greater Louisville Project representative Carolyn Gatz had this to say, "Well, I think the data shows—and most of us know—that the recession has hit our community very badly. I think that's true in what they call 'older industrial cities,' cities that are trying to make this turn from a 20th century economy to a 21st century economy. That's why today we're going to be talking about the interplay between education and jobs, 21st century jobs, and I think the Brookings data just showed what a challenge and what a sense of urgency we as a community need to have to deal with these issues." If Louisville home prices and the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers has you thinking about buying a home in the area, call the Louisville...

Real Estate Experts Fear a New Chill in Home Sales

Even though homes sales have increased for three straight months, the combination of several factors have real estate professionals concerned about a winter slowdown for home sales. The two biggest contributors to surging home sales over the last several months—artificially low interest rates and the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers—will end. The New York Times reports that mortgage defaults and distress sales are on the rise in the middle and upper price ranges of homes, and millions of homeowners are so upside-down on their mortgages that they are essentially locked into their home for many years. "Plenty of pain yet to come," said Joshua Shapiro, Chief United States Economist for MFR. He is forecasting an imminent resumption of price declines. Home sales this past summer gave hope that housing markets were somewhat stabilized. The federal tax credit program prompted many homebuyers to stop waiting for a better price and buy a home. However, consumers across the country seem very much aware of the financial difficulty that lies ahead, as indicated by October's unexpected drop in the consumer confidence index. Right now, foreclosures are the only sector of the real estate market that has remained hot as investors and first-time homebuyers take advantage of these opportunities. Many experts forecast more foreclosures in the near future. Nevertheless, growing concerns about the nation's housing market inspired lawmakers to extend the first-time homebuyers tax credit that has resulted in nearly 400,000 home sales. If there was no extension of the program, the real estate industry could have faced a very long and quiet 2009. Falling home prices have made Louisville homes for sale an uncommonly good investment. If you're looking for Louisville real estate for a primary home or income property, call 502.744.9504 or visit...
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