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!