Nationally the real estate outlook for 2007 is dismaying to say the least. The outlook for Louisiana in general and Baton Rouge specifically however, is quite promising. House Predictor(http://www.housepredictor.com/) recently released the top 10 states to watch and leading the list was Louisiana.
While New Orleans is leading the pack with an estimated 8.5% in housing value growth predicted for 2007, Baton Rouge is not doing so bad either! The Red Stick is expected to show a growth in value of 4.1% this year and most believe that this is a conservative estimate. Central Louisiana is well represented also, Monroe is anticipating a 5.9% increase in housing pricing this year. New Orleans was ranked #1 and Monroe was ranked #11 in the list of top 25 local U.S. real estate markets.
It goes without saying that a large factor in the upward trend in housing values in the Big Easy stems from rebuilding what Katrinia washed away, however the same can not be said for Baton Rouge. In the months that followed the storm I was asked more times than I can remember the same question...what is going to happen to the Baton Rouge real estate market when all of the New Orleans people go home? Will there be a sudden and market crushing number of homes on the market? Basically, will the outflux of Yats(local speak for New Orleanens) make the Baton Rouge market crash and burn? My answer was always the same, a carefully optimistic NO.
Even though Baton Rouge did see a hugh 27% jump in values right after the storm it was very very short lived. The briefity of this period was due in part to diligent appraisers who did not allow overvaluing of homes/comps to occur. Baton Rouge than returned to a normal appreciation rate of 4%-6% for remainder of 2006 and looks to be on track for more of the same in 2007.
So what does all of this mean to buyers and sellers?
Let me speak to the buyers first, BUY NOW!!! If you are waiting for housing prices in Baton Rouge or Louisiana for that matter to go down....IT AIN'T HAPPENING! Not in the forseeable future anyway. Interest rates are still low, our property taxes are still low and with the exception of New Orleans, insurance is still reasonable. Don't wait!
To the sellers...if you price your home reasonably you can expect a quick and easy sale. Multiple offer situations are quite common in our market and buyers will typically compete for homes that are well maintained and priced right. Just keep in mind, if you are selling and buying another home in our market wasting time with an unreasonable price may end up costing you more money when you go to buy!
Hey maybe Brad and Angelina aren't so crazy after all huh?