The LSU Property Foundation has purchased a 38.6-acre tract next to its South Campus for $3.86 million. David Hardy, an attorney for the foundation, says the purchase extends the university’s holdings between GSRI Avenue and Nicholson Drive. The land is adjacent to a 60-acre tract LSU bought in late 2007 for $6 million. Officials with the LSU Foundation say it will be up to the university to decide what to do with the land.
The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge in April was up nearly 18% from the year before, as first-time homebuyers flocked to cash in on a tax credit for buying properties. There were 691 houses sold in April, according to figures from the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, compared with 586 MLS sales in April 2009. And despite an increase in first-time buyers, the average sale price was also higher than the year before, from $185,641 to $192,974. Livingston Parish saw the biggest sales gain, jumping up by 67%, from 83 sales to 139. The average sale price in Livingston was slightly lower, dropping from $171,237 to $169,038. Ascension Parish home sales increased from 114 in April 2009 to 124, while the city-parish had the highest average sale price at $217,216, a 7% increase from the year before. East Baton Rouge had the highest sales volume, at 383 MLS deals, compared with 352 from April 2009. The average sale price was $198,061, compared with $182,540. The other category, which includes MLS sales in parishes such as West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and the Felicianas, saw a gain from 37 sales in 2009 to 45 last month; the average sale price dropped to $156,813 from $193,002. Local Realtors say the Capital Region’s market has rebounded to post-Katrina levels. Through the first four months of the year, home sales are running ahead of 2009, with 2,100 MLS transactions taking place, compared with 2,017 the year before. The average sale price was also up slightly, from $191,015 in 2009 to $192,602. —Timothy Boone
The percentage of Baton Rouge homeowners falling behind on their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure continued to rise in March, but still at a slower rate than the state and national averages. The percentage of local homeowners who were more than three months behind on their mortgages was 6.64% in March, according to Core Logic, compared with a 4.21% delinquency rate in March 2009. During that time, the percentage of Louisiana homeowners more than three months behind on their mortgages rose from 4.76% to 7.36%, while the U.S. average delinquency rate was 8.93% in March, compared with 5.79% in March 2009. The local foreclosure rate was 2.27% in March, compared with 1.38% in March 2009. That’s below the state average of 2.53% and the national rate of 3.23%. Core Logic gets its data from public sources, including property and tax records and appraisals.
Baton Rouge builders will get to show off their handiwork for two weekends, beginning Saturday at the Capital Region Builders Association’s annual Parade of Homes. The event, which takes place Saturday and Sunday and May 22 to May 23, is the largest showcase for area builders. This year there are 52 homes in the parade; in previous years there have been between 60 and 80 homes in the parade. Lynda Evans, executive vice president of the CRBA, blames the drop on a lack of inventory. But Evans says there’s a “good mix” of homes, ranging in price from $120,000 to nearly $1 million. “There are a lot of first-time homebuyers who go out to this event looking for a home,” she says. “There are homes out in every price range.” For more information about this year’s event, including a list of homes that will be in the parade, click here.