Home Show vendors say local housing market is solid

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) –Just one day after some surprising figures about Louisiana's housing market were released, vendors at the Home Builders Association Home Show were busy setting up shop in preparation for this weekend's event at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The news from Realtytrac, a group that keeps track of foreclosed homes across the nation, found nearly 1,400 Louisiana homeowners received some type of foreclosure-related notice last month, a 106% increase from February of 2009.

One way to judge the local housing market is to see what business has been like for the vendors at the home show. After all, the housing market has a direct impact on their sales.

Phyllis White with Budget Blinds said her business could have seen a drop in sales thanks to the housing market last year, however her company managed to avoid this.

"When the new construction slowed down, people started remodeling [and] redecorating," said White. "So we've been very fortunate. We've stayed busy."

Jim Mitchell and Christine Bailey with State Farm Insurance, believe there was definitely some change in the housing market last year, but said this year things are beginning to turn around.

"We're just starting to see an increase in people buying more cars and the home owners market seems to be picking up," said Bailey. "People are starting to buy more homes."

Wayne Fender with Fender Homes, a residential construction company, reported similar news. Fender credits the availability of jobs in Southwest Louisiana as the main reason the housing market is outperforming most of the country.

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