Housing Market Good On The Coast

Home mortgage rates have edged up slightly this week, but economists say rates remain low enough to keep the housing market healthy around the country. Builders and Realtors here on the Coast are optimistic about the year ahead. John and Marian Petry are from New Orleans, but recently purchased a second home in Bay St. Louis.

"I told him I was going to look for another house. He told me he wasn't going to buy somebody else's house so he went out and found this lot and that's where we are now Chapel Hill." Said Marian Petry. The couple hopes to move into their beach front neighborhood in about 2 weeks. Chet LeBlanc, Home Developer; "Folks are coming in here from other places out of town they've sold houses or they're relocating because of NASA or the casinos and frankly they're looking at the Gulf Coast as a bargain from some of these other high cost areas they're taking advantage of that and picking up good houses for good prices." Said Developer Chet LeBlanc.

Chet LeBlanc began building Chapel Hill a Gulf side housing community, 4 years ago. Last year he says he built 5 homes and this year he expects to put up just as many or more. Rodney Corr currently has 3 subdivisions going up in Hancock County. He builds affordable homes as well as middle and upper income river front houses. " 2004 it will be I think similar to the last 3 years of growth being the interest rates are staying down we have a lot of people coming out of Louisiana." Said Contractor Rodney Corr. He says with a predicted turn around in our nation's economy this year , the home building business should hold its own in the new year.

Corr told WLOX NEWS "Two years ago we built 35 houses last year we did 38 and we're going to average anywhere from 34 to 38 every year. " Developer LeBlanc agrees. "All the reasons to live here are here all the Gulf courses the Casinos of course the living style the fishing and you can have a place that's beautiful to live in and it's not costing you an arm and a leg."