Housing finance reform has seen progress since its inception and across the nation house prices are beginning to bounce back. Here in Louisville, the housing industry has seen significant gains as of August.
With both resale values and new housing options increasing, the average house now sits on the market for a median of 120 days, compared to an average of 150 days last year, according to the WDRB News in Louisville. Overall, home prices have increased over 4% from last quarter, making Louisville a highly recommended choice for potential Kentucky residents.[Editor’s Note: There are a variety of ways any real estate statistic can be measured. For more hyper-local segments, view the Housing Reports located on the navigation (above) for most of the Louisville MLS areas.]
As home prices continue to rise, now is an opportune time to consider buying a Louisville house. Mortgages are becoming stable again, and as such, mortgage rates will inevitably grow over the next few years. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when deciding whether relocating to Louisville may be the right choice for you.
Louisville’s Changing Population
As Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville boasts a population of around 600,000, whereas Kentucky itself has over 4,400,000. Of the 600,000, about 88% of the population is Caucasian—though Louisville’s immigrant population has been steadily growing since 2000.
In fact, Louisville’s immigrant population growth is much faster than the nation’s, yet they also have one of the lowest shares of undocumented immigrants in the country.
Louisville’s immigrant population is far below the national average, at almost half of the immigrant percentage as others states. It’s also important to note that the number of undocumented immigrants in Louisville is only 18%, compared to a nearby average of 27%.
Though Louisville faces slow population growth and low educational attainment levels, its shifting diversity is marking a new beginning for many rural and residential areas.
The Appeal of an Overall Low Cost of Living
Another thing to keep in mind is Kentucky’s low tax rate. At a sales tax rate of 6%, Kentucky is one of the lowest taxed states. In addition, the cost of living in Kentucky is also lower than the U.S. median average. The low cost of living coupled with an increasing housing market are two contributing factors that consistently put Kentucky, more notably Louisville, in many top 10 lists for potential homebuyers.
Employment Rate and Foreclosures
At an employment rate of 8.1%, compared to the national average of 7.3, Kentucky is still feeling the burden of the last economic crisis. However, job growth is on the rise and with a Gallop Job score of 26.9 Kentucky appears to be gearing up for an impressive economic boom.
Also worth noting is Kentucky’s decrease in unemployment, which went down 1.1% from last year.
Though Kentucky itself appears to be on the cusp of an economic rise, its cities show juxtaposing results; fickle real estate reports and scattered foreclosure rates show that some cities are doing better than others.
In Jefferson County, Louisville’s largest county, foreclosure rates have reduced from 2.85% in 2012 to 2.03% in 2013. Upon further inspection, Jeffersontown, Fern Creek and Hikes Point seem to be among the higher-marketed areas, with home sale numbers this year toppling last year’s by almost 20%.
Thinking About Relocating to Louisville?
Overall, Louisville is a great city with a bright future. Though spurred growth rates and a lack of proper infrastructure are the most common complaints, the relatively low cost of living and availability of newer housing are both great pulls for potential homebuyers.