Home Buyers May Soon Be Paying More - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/09/04

Home Buyers May Soon Be Paying More

Buying a home is probably one of the biggest financial decisions you'll make in your life.

The market for home buying has been good lately,espeicially for first-time buyers.

But some home builders say it may soon be getting a whole lot harder to find "affordable" housing.

Low interest rates have a lot of people looking for homes right now, but leaders of the Coast Home Builders Association say the rising cost of liability insurance is crippling the home building business.

"Liability insurance is up 300 percent across the board, if you can find somebody to write it, it's their market. It's not our market," said John Ruble, member of the Coast Home Builders Association.

 Ruble says home builders are also struggling with the rising cost of building materials, with the price of steel and lumber doubling over the past six months, and the cost of concrete up 33-percent.

He says all of these rising costs home builders are having to pay will ultimately end up coming out of the pockets of home buyers and make affordable housing harder to find.

 "The volume building is still going on because of the low interest rates, but what we're oing to find in the future I believe is a slowdown because of the cost of some of these areas are going to slow down, I think the rates are going to escalate, and it's going to slow down the construction of the first-time homebuyer market," Ruble said. 

Ruble and other members of the home builders association say passing more tort reform legislation would help, but for now, they're taking matters into their own hands.

"We're working at a state level to form our own liability pool. What that means is, with all the homebuilders we have in the state of Mississippi, we're going to self-insure ourselves and do away with these insurance agents," Ruble said.

By: Toni Miles 

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