MAY 31ST, 2023

Louisiana Mortgages

The recent hurricane damage to the housing market has radically shifted the realities involved in that industry in Louisiana. While the median value of an owner occupied housing unit was $85,000 dollars as listed on the 2000 US census, the median value of homes have skyrocketed since the disaster. In many cases, there are just not enough homes in Louisiana communities to deal with the number of people who need homes. With a huge demand and limited supply, the prices of available homes are experiencing a tremendous boom.

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In Baton Rouge, La, the housing market is going crazy. For average priced homes in the $140,000 price range, buyers are bidding as high as $10,000 above the asking price, without even seeing the home. Buyers are bidding high and hoping to get a contract signed before a competing bid arrives. There are hundreds of situations where a bidder has made a successful bid on a property, and before they finalize the paperwork, another bidder has shown up and offered up to $30,000 more for the property.

Homes that have been on the market for a year in some cases are now receiving multiple offers at the listing price or above. This is great news for area real estate agents like Betty W. Jackson, a CJ Brown agent in Baton Rouge who like many of her colleagues, has sold off her entire inventory of homes.

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In smaller cities around Louisiana the impact is being felt as well. Amy Jones, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, reports that real-estate agents had informed the Louisiana congressman’s office that two hundred and fifty homes were sold in one day in Lafayette. Lafayette is about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge, and just about every available housing unit in the town has been sold.

The housing shortage raises several questions about the future. A central that question regional cities and their public officials and business leaders must address is whether this dislocation is just a temporary upset or a permanent shift. If it is temporary, locals will have to learn to cope with inconveniences that could last for several months. However, if they take root and the changes now taking shape become permanent, local, state and federal governments will be pressed to come up with the money needed to expand services and infrastructure, and to create new jobs, schools and subdivisions needed to make room for their new residents.

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