- Elliott Stonecipher
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 … 7:00 P.M.
Here’s the good news: the cities in our Central Time Zone have the most-affordable housing in America.
Here’s the bad news: housing in Shreveport-Bossier is the least-affordable in our region.
So says the most recent such study by American personal finance company NerdWallet. Its study reports on the fourth quarter of 2018, with calculations including 178 metropolitan areas.
The Associated Press (AP) broke the national story on March 7th and The (Shreveport) Times published it March 10th.
News of the study is of particular note as Mayor Adrian Perkins and his team / handlers turn up the heat on City Council members in advance of next Tuesday’s scheduled vote on yet another tax – garbage, in this instance – of Shreveporters.
Thus far, the Council has opted not to approve an $18-a-month version of the fee (which functions precisely the same as a tax), or a $13-a-month version. Too, it has twice voted to postpone action on the subject $7.00-a-month try.
Mayor Perkins deliberately designed the attempted charge as necessary to block a taxpayer vote.
Notably, Shreveport / Caddo’s extraordinarily high property taxes are not included in the study’s calculations. By way of its scheduled May 4th election, the Caddo Parish School Board is trying to deny home and other property owners an otherwise certain decrease in tax millages.
Here is how NerdWallet further explained our lowest home affordability in our region:
“In this metro area in northwestern Louisiana, a typical home costs about $87,000 less than the median home in the United States. But the median household income is low, too, making it difficult to afford a house. In the parishes that include Shreveport and Bossier City, about half of the households are in economic hardship, according to a United Way report that says ‘demand for low-cost and multifamily housing has outpaced the supply.’
Shreveport was awarded a $24.2 million grant in 2017 to develop housing in and west of downtown.”
(I don’t know about anyone else, but I was unaware that Shreveport was awarded $24.2 to develop housing here. I would be very interested to know who … specifically … got that money and how it is being spent.)
On January 30th, Watchdog.org – a “… network of American news websites that features reporting on state and local government …” – released another analysis which is notable in this context. In summary, it found that …
… “The number of vacant homes in the Shreveport-Bossier City area was more than 3,600 in the third quarter of 2018, a 557-unit increase over what it was a year ago … the 13th highest home vacancy rate among the 153 Metropolitan Statistical Areas with 100,000 or more single-family homes and condos in the analysis. The rate stood at 2.7 percent in the third quarter, up from 2.54 percent in the third quarter of 2017.”
In any case, these analyses are additional evidence against any further tax increases certain to induce even more of us to leave Shreveport.
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Here is how NerdWallet explains the methodology of its study:
“Affordability was estimated by comparing each metro area’s median annual household income with the monthly principal-and-interest payment for a median-priced single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2018. (Median means half the incomes and prices are higher.) After a 20% down payment, house payments were calculated at an interest rate of 4.91%, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the fourth quarter in NerdWallet’s daily mortgage rates survey. Payments exclude insurance and property taxes.
Metro-area median household income is from the U.S. Census American Community Survey of 2017. Median prices for resales of existing single-family homes in the fourth quarter came from the National Association of Realtors.”
Here is the link to the NerdWallet study article:
Here is the link to the Watchdog.org article: