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City council hurting growth

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So how does this affect you? Well, if you are a homeowner in Lebanon here is how it has, and is, affecting you. In Lebanon in 2011 there were 599 closed sales at an average sales price of $181,457 with an average sales price per square foot of $85.23. New homes built in 2011 totaled 76 properties sold at an average sales price of $219,803 or $96.40 per square foot.

If we look at the past five-year history since 2006, a total of 973 homes sold at an average of $99.18 per square foot. In 2007, there were 861 homes sold with an average of $99.82 per square foot; in 2008, there were 663 homes sold with an average of $92.79 per square foot; in 2009, there were 593 homes sold with an average of $89.30 per square foot; and in 2010, there were 565 homes sold at an average of $86.64 per square foot.

Since 2006, Lebanon has seen a decrease of home closings of 41.9 percent and an average sales price decrease of 11.62 percent from $205,315 to $181,457 and an average per square foot price decrease of 14.06 percent from $99.18 to $85.23.

If we where to travel west on I-40 for about 5 minutes where they are experiencing growth, Mt. Juliet had 826 closed sales in 2011(Lebanon had 599), an average sales price of $227,193 (Lebanon $181,457) and an average price per square foot of $102.10 (Lebanon $85.23). New home sales were 282 (Lebanon 72), the average sales price was $254,306 (Lebanon $219,803) with an average of $117.13 square foot (Lebanon $96.40).

According to the National Association of Home Builders, each single-family home built creates three jobs, (need for new jobs), generates $67,000 in federal taxes and $23,000 in state and local taxes and creates a reoccurring tax base through property taxes and service fees (need for new revenue).

As you can see in a growth area such as Mt. Juliet, based on their average, a 2,000 square foot home would sell for $204,200, and the same home in Lebanon based on the 2011 average of 85.23 per square foot would sell for $170,460, a difference of $33,740 which is the affect of a non-growth area.

These are overall averages, every neighborhood has different averages based upon their sales, but where there is not growth there will be continued decline. Without new home starts or a decline in home sales, retail and commercial suffer as well.

Looking back over the past five years, the only new commercial building in Lebanon was the Discount Tire in front of Walmart, the Dental place across the street and the apartment complex on Hartmann. There has been very little back filling of available space also (Bi-Lo has been empty for several years) and the trend that is filling these spaces are Discount Liquor, Discount Tobacco, Discount clothing, Title and Cash Expresses. (Antioch ring a bell?)

Lebanon is OUR hometown and we should be demanding better leadership. The Mayor had provided a plan for growth and those who voted against it really could not express a solid opinion why. We need to be hearing from these council persons what their plan is for creating jobs, retail, new construction and commercial growth in Lebanon, and the council needs to be hearing from you if you have a passion to see Lebanon be the best it can be.


Editors Note: Larry Hubbard is a Lebanon resident and a local real estate agent.

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