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Low Housing Inventory Bedevils Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

Phil Hall
Aug 22, 2016
The havoc created by Louisiana’s recent flooding is going to exacerbate a problem that has plagued the Baton Rouge metro area long that persisted long before the catastrophic weather: An acute lack of housing inventory

The havoc created by Louisiana’s recent flooding is going to exacerbate a problem that has plagued the Baton Rouge metro area long that persisted long before the catastrophic weather: An acute lack of housing inventory.

According to a Baton Rogue Advocate report, there were 3,382 homes on the market in the flood impacted metro areas, according to data from the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ (GBAR) Multiple Listing Service. Last month’s home sale level was 15 percent below the July 2015 figure, and it represents an inventory supply of 3.9 months, based on current sales activity.

“Inventory is already low—now you’re going to have all these people trying to find a house,” said Ginger Maulden, president-elect of the GBRAR, who noted some people may remove their homes from the market either because they were damaged in the floods or to accommodate displaced friends and family. “We already had a situation in our market when people were getting multiple offers for their houses. It’s going to be crazy.”

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce reported last week that more than 110,000 residences, or nearly one-third of the homes in metro Baton Rouge, were identified as being flooded areas waters. Livingston Parish was particularly hard hit, with different reports estimating that between 75 and 87 percent of homes were damaged by the flood waters.

In areas that were not affected by the floods, there has also been a rush of people raising prices on their homes or trying to void contracts on homes in order to secure higher prices.

“People are going to think twice about purchasing a home in a flood zone,” Maulden said. “There will not be the same attitude.”

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