Yes, we can tell spring is here due to the number of calls we are receiving. People are enjoying the beautiful weather and looking for homes. We have had some great financing news for our area. Since the Greater Baton Rouge Area is in the hurricane disaster area, the Bond Authority is waiving the rule that you must be a first time home buyer to qualify for bond money. That means, if you fit the other criteria of income, credit score, etc., then you may be able to get bond money with a rate between 4.8-5.6%.
A quick update on new construction. We had 183 new homes come on the market in February in the SE Baton Rouge, Ascension, and Livingston areas - bringing to a total of 509 new construction homes on the market. During that same period, 169 new homes went under contract. The average sales price for new construction for the past 4 months was $215,000 for those areas. However, with the cost of materials due to the hurricanes, the new homes are averaging an asking price of $236,000.
A snapshot of the past 4 months home sales, including all ages, all of East Baton Rouge Parish, Livingston, and Ascension shows an average list price of $184,000 with an average sales price of $180,000. We are seeing the average sale price steadily increase, probably due to the number of new construction homes that are finally closing that were sold during Katrina.
We expect the housing market to remain strong with good inventory to choose from.
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