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New Construction Stats 12 Months

by Pat Wattam

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by NBC Local channel 33 today on the recovery of the housing Market in the Greater Baton Rouge area.  Specifically, they wanted to know about new construction homes and how the builders are faring.  After the economic turndown, builders backed off starting new projects - typically, instead of starting a lot of homes, they might have one or two spec homes but didn't want to get stuck with a lot of inventory they couldn't move.  As the market has rebounded, new construction is back up and running very well!  In Audubon Square, the subdivison is 2/3 sold out with 4 more pre-sales in the works - and this is at the end of the year!!

So, here's the scoop.  

East Baton Rouge has a lot of new construction in a wide price range.  You will see in area 43 homes from  $200-300s in Mallard Crossing,  and Lakes at Magnolia Trace, mid $300's -upper $400's in Audubon Square and Green Trails, then going to higher end, to homes in the $500's and up in CarriageWood off Hoo Shoo Too.  You will also see a few resales in these neighborhoods as people get transfered out.  Area 53 sees lots of activity in University Club Plantation for your $400+, Settlement at Willow Grove ($500-800K) to the Preserve at Harveston in the Mid $300s - Mid $400s.  As a whole, East Baton Rouge has seen 104 more new homes sold in the past 12 months than the previous 12, the average sales price has risen about $10K to an average sales price of $265000 - However, just looking at the sales this October, the average sales price jumped to $291,500 - that's $51K over September and $30K over October 2012.  I do like to look at statistics using a larger picture but these recent numbers tell us if you are thinking of buying a new home, BUY NOW, don't wait!!!

Over in Livingston Parish things have been steady for several years with an average sales price of $165,000 and the number of sales and prices  have not changed significantly for the past couple of years.  

Ascension Parish is still the hottest market with an inventory of less than 2.67 months - and this past summer than inventory dropped to under 2 months!!  The number of sales is up - but less than 100 more, and the prices have risen slightly to an average sales price of $214,000.

An interesting note, most new construstion sales have closed at a higher price than listed - which means buyers are adding custom touches to their new home which is increasing the price!

Speaking of the market in general, not just new construction, the average sales prices has gone up every month for the last 7 months compared to the same time last year.  Typical of our area, those prices don't rise quickly - slow and steady.  This is what help us avoid the huge real estate bust from 2008!!  The number of homes being sold has risen the past 3 years - actually a 30% increase in just those 3 years!  

We are so fortunate to have such a healthy real estate market - which speaks well of our economy!!!  Call the Pat Wattam Team today and let us help you decide whether a new construction spec home , an existing home, or if building a home is the best choice for you!  Let's hope that the economy continues to thrive, unemployment continues to decline, and that we all have a wonderful holiday season!

Selling Your Home During The Holidays

by Pat Wattam

Everyone always asks me, as we gear up for the holiday season, if this is a good time to sell real estate.  My answer is always the same - When do our homes look the prettiest?  It's as we decorate for the holidays.  And the homes smell so good with the trees, cookies baking, and lights twinkling!  But there are more reasons than that!  Here are just a few:

1.  People transfer to the area between Christmas and New Year so they can enroll their child in the new school at semester.

2.  Not as much competition of homes for sale as in the spring, so your home can really stand out

3.  Interest rates are still low and you never know when they will go up, so buyers who are ready to buy, do so.

4.  Gifts!  Yes, people get cash gifts for Christmas to help with the downpayment!

5.  Easier to move in the cool, less humid air!!!

6.  Buyers want to celebrate Christmas in their new home!

7.  It's a Christmas present people give themselves!

8.  Buyers think sellers may be more motivated to close before the first of the year

9.  Only serious buyers look this time of year

10.  Once more, our houses look the prettiest and make us think happy thoughts of days past!

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Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First, Independently Owned and Operated
4750 Sherwood Common
Baton Rouge LA 70816
Office Direct: 225-298-6900
Office Main: 225-291-1234
Fax: 225-295-1234

RE/MAX First
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Main: 225-291-1234

Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission