It’s been six long years that the people in Louisiana have been battling to recover from Hurricane Katrina, and it finally looks as though the Louisiana housing market is making a turn for the better. Home sales are moving higher and home prices in many areas of the state are on an up-swing.
Sales shot up 20% in New Orleans towards the end of 2011, providing a rebound with gains in employment, particularly in education and health care. The city has $10.5-billion in construction projects planned for the year.
The recovery has been anything but swift for Louisiana, battered by the twin jolts of a major hurricane and BP oil spill. But New Orleans is seeing things slowly improve, with existing home sales projected to increase during the year on low mortgage rates with forecast housing inflation of 1.6% in 2012.
In Baton Rouge there’s no shortage of new home construction with a major surge in sales in the region as buyers take advantage of low borrowing rates. But with a surplus of inventory housing prices are declining and projected to fall another 2.0% by years end.
However, west of Baton Rouge in Lafayette, home values are being driven by an uptick in employment gains and job growth should sustain over at least the next two years. Home prices are forecast to increase 2.3% for the year.
The Houma area added more than 4,000 jobs in 2011 driven by an increase in Gulf oil drilling permits. The surge sent sales up by
more than a quarter and housing prices higher. The region is expected to add more jobs to additionally boost home prices, forecast to rise 3.0% in 2012.
The Monroe area in the mid-section of the state has also been boosted by new employers hiring more workers, and more jobs are expected to be added in 2012. The employees should add a boost to the housing market, which is forecast to appreciate 3.1% by years end.
A major recovery is projected to develop in Lake Charles with more job growth than any where else in the state as new businesses hire workers in a handful of industries, including health care. The community will see more in the
state as new businesses hire workers in a handful of industries, including health care. The community will see more home sales as a result on projected 3.4% housing appreciation in 2012.