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Owner Occupant Housing Market Remains Strong

Owner Occupant Housing Market Remains Strong

Contact:
Saiward Pharr Hromadka
Communications Director, GBRAR
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225-761-2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Baton Rouge, LA (March 18, 2014) The owner-occupant housing market in the Greater Baton Rouge area remains strong. Their share of market activity remains buoyed by interest rates and prices attractive to owner-occupant buyers. Investor activity, however, has dropped off a bit. As mortgage delinquencies fade, banks are listing bargain-priced product less often. That means investor activity – which accounts for a substantial market share – is moderating. It's tempting to confuse market normalization with a possible slowdown. But those equipped with high-quality MLS data, like Realtors®, know better.

The latest numbers show market moderation: New Listings in Greater Baton Rouge decreased 4.7 percent to 975. Pending Sales were up 16.0 percent to 775. Inventory levels shrank 9.7 percent to 3,820 units. Prices were still a bit soft. The Median Sales Price decreased 3.8 percent to $165,900. Days on Market was down 4.0 percent to 95 days. Absorption rates improved as Months Supply of Inventory was down 20.0 percent to 5.2 months, neutral market territory.

East Baton Rouge Parish carried out the overall area trends. The Median Sales price declined year over year 5.6 percent to $160,500. Like last month, more homes changed hands in February 2014 than the same month a year ago. Closed Sales were up 7.8 per cent to 304. That follows an increase in Closed Sales in January as well. Months Supply Inventory slipped 19.4 per cent over last year to 5.4. Days on Market was also down a more modest 1 per cent to only 97.

Livingston Parish bucked the area's trends a bit. New Listings rose 6.4 percent in February to 184. Inventory actually rose a smidge, up 0.4 per cent to 684 units. Otherwise, Livingston fell in line with the territory. It's also a neutral market; Months Supply of Inventory fell to 5.5. Median Price dropped a modest 1.1 per cent to $153,250. Just like, East Baton Rouge, Closed Sales in Livingston rose year over year in February, up 20.5 per cent to 100.

Ascension Parish also had its statistical variants from the area at large. The Median Price went up to $197,955, a 5.0 percent increase from last year. More houses went on the market as well. New Listings were up 18.9 per cent to 176. Days on Market was down 23.2 percent to 76 in Ascension Parish last month. But like the overall market and East Baton Rouge, Inventory Levels in Ascension Parish dropped, down 21.9 per cent to 448. Closed Sales fell 2.4 per cent to 122. Months Supply of Inventory dropped as well, down 28.9 per cent to 3.2. A Seller's Market appears to be developing in Ascension Parish.

The uncharacteristic winter had an impact on the local economy - and psyche. However, despite some climate-induced surprises to job growth and new construction, there is no denying the fact that we've now seen 47 straight months of private job growth, creating 8.5 million new payrolls. Thankfully, with such low inventory levels, many builders are bullish on new construction. The spring market is budding, and it should be an interesting one.
Market analysis videos, full color graphs, and even more details are available at www.gbrar.com/research.

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About GBRAR: The Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors® (GBRAR) is one of the Baton Rouge Area's largest trade associations, serving nearly 3000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. GBRAR serves as the "voice of real estate" in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan area. GBRAR is a private trade association of licensed real estate brokers and agents, certified appraisers (and some others in affiliated businesses) in the jurisdiction as assigned by the National Association of REALTORS® who have agreed to come together for purposes of self interest and agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics. That jurisdiction is made up of the following parishes: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Ascension, Point Coupee, and St. Helena. More information about GBRAR is available at www.gbrar.com

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