New Homes Starts in St. Tammany Parish Take off in 2015

New Homes Starts in St. Tammany Parish Take off in 2015

May 20th, 2015

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that there are a few more new construction homes going up around St. Tammany Parish.

In fact, quite a few more when compared to last year!

Housing Starts in St. Tammany Parish Catch Fire

According to the most recent numbers, St. Tammany had 306 housing starts in the first quarter of 2015 – a 25% increase over the first quarter of 2014.

Bucking the Trends

However, as a recent report carried out by the St. Tammany Parish Economic Development Foundation found, this growth trend hasn’t always been the case over the past 10 years.

Instead, like so many other areas in this country, the parish experienced some volatility during the recession. However, now it’s become clear that St. Tammany Parish is on the rise and a great market to invest in.

Post Hurricane Katrina

The first boom St. Tammany Parish received happened 10 years ago after Hurricane Katrina hit. This tragedy for New Orleans created a real upswing for the local real estate market here. Obviously, after the destruction caused by the hurricane, people needed homes and many of them came to the Northshore.

Between 2005 and 2007 alone, the parish saw its average home price jump to $248,682, the highest it’s ever been.

However, 2007 was also the beginning of the recession. Unfortunately for those in St. Tammany Parish, this dovetailed with New Orleans’ recovery, meaning the prior boom they experienced in their housing market fell quickly.

The Current Market

The good news is that this has turned around here, just as it has done elsewhere in the country. In St. Tammany Parish, though, there is plenty of room for growth. We’ve already seen that to some degree.

Need proof? The price for an average home in 2012 was $212,297, it’s currently $225,540.

Speaking of room to grow, the demand for building permits is going up as well. Between 2009 and 2013, they increased by an incredible 78%. New home sales have increased too. During that same time period, they shot up 44%.

Another way to assess the market is by looking at the supply of homes that exist, also known as their “time on the market.” In St. Tammany Parish, that number is four to six months, meaning there are more than enough properties available for homebuyers. This is yet another good sign that this parish represents a thriving market.

Looking Ahead

For those who may be considering a home in St. Tammany Parish but are hesitant because of the past decade, there’s little reason to think this kind of caution is justified.

First off, the reason there was so much volatility was because of two unexpected events, both of which we’re now past: Hurricane Katrina and the recession. Obviously, no one can predict what tomorrow will bring, but it seems very unlikely that a hurricane and economic collapse will once again coincide.

However, there is another reason to be bullish about the future of property in St. Tammany Parish. The current amount of residential building permits here is up 57% since March 2014. It’s also one of the highest increases we’ve seen over the last six years.

Both are very encouraging signs.

Obviously, if these rates continue, we could see close to 2,000 new homes built within the next year or so.

There’s even more though. While the above numbers refer to permits for single-family homes, that’s obviously not the only kind of real estate that matters.

There’s also residential plan and commercial properties to think about. This past March, there were 161 in the parish, which is the highest that number has been in 80 months.

Right now, the other challenge this area faces is continuing this upward trend while still maintaining the beautiful area so many have come to love calling home.

Of course, given the past 10 years, that’s a pretty good problem to have and if the recent past is anything to go by, St. Tammany Parish will most likely be up for the challenge.


Data Sources: