Many people think that real estate on the Gulf Coast is struggling after the natural disasters that have impacted the area, but a recent report by a local real estate broker shows promise for 2014. With a region still in recovery, one local real estate broker is happy to see that the market is on the rise. Ray Gonzales Jr., a real estate broker, says, "The market is up-trending. By next year there will be a resurgence in prices and demand." Gonzales tracks sales data and says home sales and property values have risen consistently since last year. The data also shows that people are shifting away from renting for one simple reason. Gonzales also says, "Your insurance is going to go up, whether you’re renting or buying." As insurance prices rise, so does interest in home-ownership. Gonzales says Ocean Springs has the highest number of closed sales. Other hot spots are the D'Iberville and St. Martin areas.
Although sales are up, they still have not reached 2005 numbers. Gonzales also says, "The year before Katrina was a record setting year. Even though Katrina hit, that was the only year the Coast did 1.25 billion dollars in sales for houses." Although the Coast has not fully bounced back from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, Gonzales believes it’s well on its way. He says, "You’re starting to see an uptrend again, with many retirees and veterans moving here." Gonzales tracks real estate trends monthly and believes resolving the insurance reform is key. He also states, "Once all that happens and insurance stabilizes, you'll see the Gulf Coast blossom like never before." Gonzales believes more corporations will take interest in the Coast and that we now see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ after years of recovery.