2012 Parade of Homes scheduled for May 5-6, May 12-13

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 :


Real estate recap: DDD launches facade improvement grant program … B.R. foreclosure rates inch lower in February … Home builders, former NFL players partner on ‘Touchdown for Homes’

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.

U.S. Home Ownership Rate Slides to 15-Year Low

From Fox Business

The share of privately owned U.S. homes fell to a 15-year low in the first  quarter, government data showed on Monday, suggesting that falling house prices  are discouraging Americans from being homeowners.

The home ownership rate slipped to 65.4 percent, the lowest since the first  quarter of 1997, the Commerce Department said. The rate was at 66.0 percent in  the fourth quarter.

Homeownership was lowest in the West, while higher rates were reported in the  Midwest.

House prices have dropped about 32 percent from their peak at the end of  2005, leaving millions of Americans with houses worth far less than their  mortgages and pushing many into renting.

In the first quarter, the median asking sales price for vacant homes on the  market was $133,700, the lowest since the first quarter of 2005, the Commerce  Department said. That compared with $133,800 in the fourth quarter.

The data showed the residential rental vacancy rate dropped to 8.8 percent in  the first three months of this year from 9.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Growing demand for rentals is boosting rents, with the median asking rent for an unoccupied property in the first quarter at $721, the highest since the first quarter of 2009. That compared with $712 in the fourth quarter.

Stronger demand for rental apartments is helping to stabilize the housing  market as builders break more ground on multifamily housing projects.  Residential construction in the first quarter grew at the fastest pace in nearly  two years and is expected to contribute to growth this year for the first time  since 2005.

The share of empty privately owned house dipped to 2.2 percent from 2.3  percent in the fourth quarter. The homeowner vacancy rate was higher in the  South, one of the regions hardest hit by foreclosures.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/04/30/us-home-ownership-rate-slides-to-15-year-low/#ixzz1tXkDzl45

Baton Rouge High renovation, addition on schedule for June finish

From the Baton Rouge Business Report

Baton Rouge High School is about 85% finished with its $58.2 million overhaul and addition, and is on schedule for a June 2 “substantial completion date.” That’s according to Earl Kern, project manager with CSRS/Garrard, which has been overseeing the two-year renovation. Though the work appears to the casual observer to be far from finished, Kern says most of it has been done. That includes tripling the size of the nearly 90-year-old building in Mid City, along Government Street, by adding more than 220,000 square feet onto the existing 111,700-square-foot structure. Among the specialty areas in the new building are a 6,800-square-foot student dining facility, two black-box theaters, a 12,000-square-foot gym and a 7,400-square-foot media center. Among the highlights in the old school building are a renovated auditorium, refurbished millwork, all new windows and all new classrooms. Kern led a media tour through parts of the buildings last week. To see a slideshow of the progress and some of the building’s features click here. —Stephanie Riegel

17542 Martin Lake Drive, Baton Rouge, La 70816 – Shadows Lake Subdivision

Beautiful 3 bedroom 3 bath home in the Shadows Lake subdivision. Wood floors throughout the home with large windows that allow tons of natural lighting. The best part about this home is that the master bedroom overlooks the lake with large french doors opening to the backyard. There is also an unfinished bonus room above the garage that would be great for a game room for kids or could be used as a fourth bedroom.

For more photos and full details :


Baton Rouge home prices continue to fall

From the business report:
B.R. home price index drops for fifth month running

The CoreLogic index of Baton Rouge home prices was down 4.2% in December, when compared with the previous year’s figures. This is the fifth month in a row the local index was down. That’s worse than the CoreLogic Home Price Index for Louisiana, which was down 3.5% for the month when compared with December 2009. Similarly, the national index was down by 5.46%, its fifth year-to-year drop. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, says despite the bumpy end to the year, the average annual HPI was unchanged in 2010. That compares with a 12.7% decline from 2008 to 2009. “Excess supply continues to drive prices downward, but the silver lining is that the rate of decline is decelerating,” he says. The drop in the Baton Rouge index came after a 3.2% decline in October. CoreLogic bases its indexes on public sale records and databases.

LSU Foundation buys 38.6 acre site

From Baton Rouge Business Report

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.

Capital Region home sales up 18% in April

From Baton Rouge Business Report

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

B.R. delinquency, foreclosure rates still below average

From Baton Rouge Business Report

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.

Parade of Homes kicks off Saturday

From Baton Rouge Business Report

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.