From the Baton Rouge Business Report:
Fire it up: A groundbreaking celebration for the new Galatoire’s Bistro location, at the corner of Perkins Road and Acadian Thruway, will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Guests will get a sneak peek of the new restaurant, enjoy samples of Galatoire’s signature cuisine and hear from speakers including Galatoire’s lead investor John Georges, Commercial Properties Realty Trust executives and Mayor Kip Holden. The restaurant, scheduled to open in December, will include a bar, private dining space and an outdoor dining area.
Down the road: Local lunch spot Uncle O’s Café Gumbo and Seafood is set to move from its familiar location near the corner of South Harrell’s Ferry and Millerville roads and into a space at 3410 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., formerly home to Brewbacher’s Grill, owner Ouncy Borne says. With hopes of having the new location open by July, Borne says he decided to relocate to avoid traffic congestion and construction in the area, which he says was affecting sales. “Eventually I just got fed up and decided it was time to go,” he says. Borne intends to serve alcohol in addition to his usual south Louisiana fare at the new location, but does not expect to extend operations past “regular restaurant hours.” Before closing in November 2010, Brewbacher’s had operated at the South Sherwood site for 18 years.
Are you ready? East Baton Rouge Parish homeowners, business owners and renters who do not have flood insurance are being encouraged to buy coverage before new flood insurance rate maps go into effect June 19, in order to get the best possible premiums. You can see the new flood map here. Kyle Jones, chief of staff for the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, says flooding can sometimes occur outside the mapped floodplain. So, while many residents are required by mortgage and lending companies to carry flood insurance, Jones encourages all residents to purchase flood insurance, as the floodplain is ever changing. Learn more at the city-parish’s Red Stick Ready website here.
Call The Houk Group at 225-301-7467 for more information or visit timhouk.com for further details.
Do you want to be a Market Insider and find out the scoop?
Understand the difference between “listing prices” (what sellers are asking for) and “sold prices” (what buyers are willing to pay).
By comparing these price trends, you’ll have a good idea of where the Baton Rouge housing market is heading. The median listing and sold property prices are calculated based on the market activity each month.
Review the inventory and health of the market by looking at the number of sold and listed properties.
To understand if the market inventory is growing or shrinking, compare the number of sold properties to new listings. If inventory is growing, the market could be trending toward a buyer’s market. If inventory is shrinking, then it could be a seller’s market.
Gauge the health of the market by comparing the number of standard to distressed listings. If the number of distressed listings is greater, the market could be unhealthy and more likely a buyer’s market.
- Sold: Properties sold that month
- New: Listings that are new on the market
- Distressed: Listings that are short sales, bank owned, or up for auction.
- Standard: Non-distressed listings
From the Baton Rouge Business Report
With 616 sales recorded as of this morning, 20.8% more homes were sold in April across the eight-parish region tracked by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors compared to the same month a year ago, GBRAR reports. Last April, a total of 510 home sales were recorded. East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston and the five other parishes lumped into GBRAR’s “other” statistical category—West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East Feliciana, West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes—all posted year-over-year sales increases. The average sales price, however, continued a downward year-over-year trend in April, decreasing about 4.3% to $188,441, compared to $196,877 in April 2011. Nonetheless, the increase in overall sales pushed total volume up 15.5% to $409.9 million on the month. A strong April builds on first-quarter figures in 2012 that were the best since 2008. Year-to-date, total sales now stand at 2,213, up 18.2% over the 1,873 sales recorded through April last year. For historical comparison, 2,128 homes were sold through April in 2010, while 2,003 were sold over the four-month period in 2009 and 2,535 in the same period of 2008. You can check out the complete sales report from GBRAR here
From the Baton Rouge Business Report
A strong start: The number of homes sold throughout Louisiana in the first quarter of 2012 was up sharply from a year ago, according to the latest Louisiana Realtors Real Estate Trends Report. Residential sales jumped 17.2% compared to the same period in 2011, with total sales volume increasing 15.3%. The average sales price, however, dipped 1.6% from the first quarter of last year to $171,684. The average listed home stayed on the market just a little longer, too: 113 days, compared to 111 days last year. All eight of the state’s metro areas posted an increase in home sales on the quarter. The Greater Baton Rouge area continued its strong upward sales trend with 17.5% more homes sold on the quarter and a 16.2% increase in total sales volume. Baton Rouge’s average sales price of $190,499 was the highest in the state, though down 1.1% from the same period last year. You can see the complete first-quarter report here.
Going up: A groundbreaking ceremony for the new LSU Olinde Career Center, the future home of LSU Career Services, will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in the LSU Student Union’s Live Oak Lounge on campus. The LSU Olinde Career Center will bring together Career Services’ two current locations in a new state-of-the-art environment that LSU says is “better suited to prepare LSU students and alumni for their careers.” Scheduled speakers include LSU Chancellor Mike Martin, LSU Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Enrollment Services Kurt Keppler, Director of LSU Career Services Mary Feduccia, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Stephen Moret, and LSU Student Body President Taylor Cox. For more information on the project, click here.
Incomplete: The April edition of the housing scorecard recently released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury shows some promising signs of stability, but the overall outlook remains mixed. Mortgage delinquencies have declined for four consecutive months and remain substantially below levels seen a year ago, and sales of existing homes in the first quarter were also 5.3% higher than a year ago. Data on home prices remains soft in many mortgage markets. The full report is available online here.
This week’s poll question: When searching for a new home or apartment, what is the most important factor for you?
Visit http://www.buyorsellbatonrougehomes.com/ to view homes in the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.
Tim Smith and Willie Martin with the Capital Region Builder’s Association shared about this year’s Parade of Homes 2012 , May 5-6 and May 12-13. Homes will be open on Saturday : 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday : 1 p.m. – 5p.m. The Parade will feature 55 Homes in 43 Subdivisions from 29 Builders. Prices range from $164,000 to $795,000. Builders will be on hand to discuss rennovations/remodeling, outdoor kitchens, ideas, building your dream home and more. For a guidebook and more information go to :
From the Baton Rouge Business Report
Ranked at No. 13, Louisiana made the biggest upward move in Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best & Worst States Survey measuring the collective sentiment of 650 CEOs from across the country on the most attractive places to do business. Louisiana jumped 14 spots on the list from last year’s No. 27 ranking, and has improved 32 spots over the past four years. Texas took the top ranking for the eighth straight year, while California was named the worst state to do business. For the 2012 survey, which was conducted between January and February, CEOs were asked to evaluate states on issues such as regulations, tax policies, workforce quality, educational resources, quality of living and infrastructure. CEOs recognized an improved policy and regulatory environment in Louisiana, along with improved economic performance, according to Chief Executive Editor in Chief JP Donlon, who writes, “Although often eclipsed by Texas, its next-door neighbor, Louisiana is the Cinderella of business improvement.” Check out the entire list and read the full story here.
From the Baton Rouge Business Report
Discounted facelifts: The Downtown Development District has launched a grant program benefiting homeowners in the DDD boundaries who make improvements to the facades of their homes. The Downtown Residential Facade Grant Program provides up to $500 to eligible improvements that are visible from the public right of way. The grants require a 50% match and do not have to be repaid as long as property owners meet the general requirements of the program. Grant guidelines and a pre-application form are available here.
On the down low: A report from CoreLogic says 2.39% of homes in the Baton Rouge metro area were in some stage of foreclosure in February—a decrease of 0.41 percentage points from February 2011 and a smaller dip of 0.03 points from January. The U.S. foreclosure rate in February was 3.41%, a drop of 0.18 percentage points on the year, while the Louisiana rate was down 0.51 points from February last year, to 2.48%. Baton Rouge’s mortgage delinquency rate—the percentage of home loans more than three months past due—also dipped 0.22 points year-over-year to 5.75% in February. That’s also lower than the U.S. rate of 7.24% and the Louisiana rate, which dropped 0.31 points on the month to 6.3%. See a CoreLogic map of February foreclosure rates in the Baton Rouge area by ZIP code here.
Home field advantage: A coalition of homeownership industry professionals will gather on the steps of the Capitol at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to promote homeownership and kick off a partnership program between the Louisiana Home Builders Association and the National Football League Players Association’s New Orleans Former Players Chapter. The groups’ efforts are part of a nationwide charitable outreach program called “Touchdown for Homes,” which brings together former NFL players and home builders to strengthen communities by constructing or renovating homes for local families in need, including U.S. military veterans. New Orleans was selected to be a participating city because it will play host to the 2013 Super Bowl. To learn more about the program and find out how you can contribute, visit the National Association of Home Builders website here.