NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Now may be a very profitable time to sell your home. According to a national study by RealtyTrac, homeowners who sold their house in the third quarter of 2015 received an average gain of $40,000 from the original price they paid for the property.
"The findings are extremely positive for the housing market on the national market. It shows the economy is really starting to gain steam at least in the housing section," Arthur Sterbcow said.
Sterbcow, a real estate consultant, said the inventory of foreclosed or distressed properties are starting to wash out of the system.
"Now we're starting to see more market-driven homes where a buyer is buying a home from a seller and not an institution," Sterbcow said.
In the New Orleans area, Sterbcow said home sales are pacing well considering the population post-Katrina.
"A lot of folks moved into apartments, and those rentals are getting filled. People are now looking to buy homes, so it's a supply and demand issue going on right now," Sterbcow said.
He said when it comes to location, the Garden District and Uptown areas are always hot spots, and most people consider two things when they look to buy a home: flood insurance premiums and crime.
"Crime is a real big issue in neighborhoods. There's no getting around it. In areas where there's a lot of media coverage on crime, people are really in the hunker-down mode," Sterbcow said.
Revised flood insurance maps from FEMA are prompting buyers to pay a lot of attention to St. Tammany north of Interstate 12.
"We've had a lot of movement from the Slidell area. People are looking into the Mandeville and Covington area primarily above I-12 because they are so sensitive to the flood insurance issue in Slidell. That in an abundance of caution they're looking for higher ground," Sterbcow said.
He said right now, it's a seller's market with multiple bids on properties. In most cases, he said the buyers are willing to go higher than the asking price.