Local Lenders Report Increase in Home Loan Activity
Local lenders across the New Orleans metropolitan region are reporting an increase in home loans. The increase in activity signals that buyers are looking for and buying homes in the metro area. Lenders point out that it is a great time for home buyers and homeowners who are looking to refinance. Low interest rates, a diverse housing market, and renewed bank confidence are three major factors for the increase in home loan activity. Other factors include young professionals in the tech industry moving to New Orleans and the quality of education drawing people to the region.
Teresa O. Breaux, Louisiana market president for Iberia Bank Mortgage, said, “The volume of business in the southeast region in January 2012 is almost double the volume for the same period in 2011.”
Lenders point out that the past few months have been as active as the summer, even with the holidays and Carnival, indicating the strong interest buyers and owners have in securing a loan and refinancing. High loan activity has been reported in Uptown, the French Quarter, and the lakefront area. There has also been activity in Marigny, Bywater, and St. Bernard.
Besides home loan activity, there has been an increase in home construction loans. President of First NBC Ashton Ryan Jr. said, “We see a strong pipeline of new construction projects particularly around the Mid-City medical complex and the Loyola/Girod new streetcar corridor. The tax credit construction is winding down and new tax credits were less focused on New Orleans. School construction and levee construction continues strong…We also see a lot of renovation on historic and Katrina-damaged real estate.” Lenders are offering programs tailored for home owners to go from new construction phases to long-term mortgages.
Experts emphasize that potential buyers should work with local, experienced lenders to help them get pre-qualified. Local lenders bring their expertise about the metro area to the table, including neighborhood characteristics and history.
There are a variety of loan options for New Orleans metro residents in particular, depending on their background and location, including Federal Home Administration loans, Veteran Affairs loans, Rural Development Loan Assistance.
Local lenders encourage home buyers to take advantage of great rates, housing options, and affordable prices.