While at first glance that headline might appear to be another black mark against Louisiana. We've already earned the worst state in which to live title this week. It actually is a sign that our housing market is rather strong. Real estate officials use the term "tight".

What a "tight" real estate market means is that there are fewer homes available for people to buy. That means it can be a tougher road for those hoping to become first-time homeowners.

You’re seeing the number of people who are potential buyers increase, but inventory is not keeping up with that. So that may cause there to be fewer homes available, and that’s a big problem for first time buyers.

Analyst Claes Bell made those comments on a recent Bankrate.com study. The comments were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network.

The fact that supply isn't keeping up with demand should be a bright economic note for those employed by Louisiana's construction industry. As more and more potential buyers seek houses, those who build and those who are looking to sell existing homes should be in a  positive position.

The downside to the housing market is the high rate of unemployment in our state. That means that lenders are being even more conservative in making loans.

The unemployment rate there is higher than other places. So banks may feel hesitant about giving a loan with the fear that the person will lose their job and not be able to find another one in the area.

Bell suggested that potential first-time homeowners could improve their chances of getting funding by bypassing the national banks and looking for a local lender for the money they need to finance their dream home.

Bell says that because younger buyers usually have less of a credit history than older buyers a local lender might be willing to go further on their behalf.  However, younger buyers have other factors that need to be considered.

Not only do younger folks tend to have a thinner credit file, but they may also have moved around at jobs a little bit more, and that may be something that banks are a little hesitant about lending to as well.

The thing we all need to remember is that tough times don't last but tough people do. Things are going to and are actually getting better economically across our state. We're not where we once were but we certainly aren't as low as we have been before.

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