Louisiana is known by many names: The Pelican State (official), The Bayou State, Child of the Mississippi, The Creole State, Sportsman’s Paradise, The Sugar State, and The Boot. It became the 18th state in 1812. The state’s area is 51,843 square miles, making it the 31st in the nation by size. The eastern border is the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico is to the south. The population is approximately 4,670,724 making it 25th in the United States. The population grew by 0.47 percent in the first half of 2016, growth predictions estimate continued growth of 1.8 percent through 2020. Let’s see how this population growth translates to the current Louisiana real estate market.
Unemployment is 6.3 percent, an expected increase in jobs of about 1 percent should occur through 2017, primarily in the service industries. In 2014, the state was named one of the most small business friendly states. The top three employers in the state are all health related: Health and Hospital Louisiana Department, Louisiana State University Health, and University Health Hospital.
The real estate market in Louisiana is seeing home appreciation values of about 8.44 percent. The 2016 Housing Market estimates median list prices for homes as $150,000 and the median closing price as $184,000. Housing market predictions expect a 2.50 percent increase in the market over the next year. There are approximately 1429 homes for rent covering a wide range of prices from low income housing in areas being redeveloped to expensive properties located in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Influencing Factors for the 2016 Louisiana Real Estate Market
- The median home value of a house in the Louisiana real estate market, according to the Zillow Home Value index is $197,900. The average sale price is $184,639.
- The average foreclosure rate is 1.14 percent. As of August 2016, this number is 38 percent lower than July 2016 and 37 percent lower than the same time in 2015.
- Louisiana ’s median rental prices are $1296 per month. These rates are lower than the preceding year, 2015.
- The APR commonly falls within the range of 3.26% to 3.35%. The current average rate is 3.33% which is on target with the national average of 3.31%.
- The state of Louisiana has the 3rd lowest property taxes in the United States as well as no vehicle property tax.
Best Places to Live in Louisiana
New Orleans has the largest population in Louisiana with an estimated 389,617 residents. Known as The Big Easy or simply as NOLA, the city straddles the Mississippi River. It is one of the largest and busiest ports in the world: 5th largest in the United States and 2nd largest in the state. New Orleans is a major contributor in oil refining and production of petrochemical. Various headquarters and major operations located in and around the city include but are not limited to Rolls Royce, AT&T, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and Capital One. However, 40 percent of all tax revenues come from tourism.
The Louisiana real estate market in New Orleans is stable. Zillow New Orleans rates the city 5.1 out of 10 and the market is currently leaning toward a buyer’s market. Trulia New Orleans shows that 47 percent of residents own their homes, 46 percent are single and the median age is 37 years. The New Orleans real estate market has a current home value of $171,200 with an expected increase of 4.9 percent during the upcoming year. The average listing price for a home is $346,496. There are 809 properties presently listed in some stage of foreclosure. As of August 2016, that is 19 percent lower than the previous month and 17 percent lower than the same time in the previous year (2015). Home sales cover a large spectrum starting around $45,000 for a small two to four-bedroom home to the $3 million dollar range for a three to six-bedroom home in the French Quarter. Craigslist New Orleans has a listing for an eight-bedroom historic mansion for more than $2 million dollars. While there are about 2992 homes for sale, another 1366 homes are available for rent. Due to the high tourism rate, there is a large number of weekly and single room rentals. A studio apartment might rent for $450 per month while a one-bedroom apartment rents for $600 per month minimum. Four bedroom rentals can be found for anywhere from $6000 to $12,000 per month. One four-bedroom penthouse is listed as $15,000 per month. The rent index, 8 percent lower than last year, is $1428 and the median rent is $1500.
Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana; 228,590 people make it the 2nd largest city in the state. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, the city is a huge base for industrial, manufacturing, petrochemical, medical, research, technology, and the film industries. It hosts the headquarters for such companies as Lamar Advertising Company and Albemarle Corporation. ExxonMobil’s refinery in Baton Rouge is the 4th largest in the United States and the 10th largest in the world. Louisiana State University is located in the city and the largest employer is the state of Louisiana. Baton Rouge real estate has a median list price of $199,900 and an average listing price of $254,494. Home values are expected to increase by 2 percent over the next year (through 2017). Sixty-one percent of residents own their homes, 38 percent are single, and the median age is 34 years. Prices for home sales vary from $25,000 for a small house to a large four to seven bedroom houses for $1 to $2 million. Realtor.com lists 1756 homes for sale with an additional 236 homes for rent. The median rent is $1400 per month with Zillow listing a rent index of $1277, 2 percent lower than in 2015. Rental prices vary widely with a one-bedroom rental starting at $450 and a two bedroom at $500 per month then going as high as $3500 for a three bedroom and $5000 for a five bedroom.
The third largest city in Louisiana is Shreveport. The population is just under 200,000 at an estimated 199,311 residents. Along the Red River, the top employer is Barksdale Air Force Base. The city is also home to the Shriners Hospital for Children. Shreveport real estate is less healthy according to Zillow, only receiving a 2.1 out of 10 rating. The current home value is $97,700, 1.9 percent higher than last year and expected to continue increasing at 2.5 percent. The average listing price for the approximate 1487 homes for sale is $192,054. Sixty-one percent of residents, 40 percent who are single and of a median age of 36 years, own their homes. Small two bedroom homes sell for around $20,000 while larger four to six bedroom homes sell for up to $2 million. There were 380 homes in foreclosure according to recent data, that is 81 percent lower than the previous month (July 2016) and 55 percent lower than the previous year (August 2015). There are another 212 homes available for rent. The rent index is 2 percent higher than previously reported at $935 and the median rental price is $975 per month. A one to three-bedroom house or apartment might rent for $300 to $350 per month while a three to four-bedroom house rents for about $2500 per month.
Lafayette, called the Hub City, is the 4th largest city with a population of about 126,066. Sixty-two percent of residents own their homes, 40 percent are single, and the median age is 35 years. Another city on a waterway, Lafayette sits on the Vermilion River. It is a major manufacturing and fabricating location hosting Frank’s Casing Crew and CIS Hammers. There is also a large IT presence with a community made up of the Center for Business and Information Technology (CBIT), Rader Solutions, National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute (NIMSAT), Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprises (LITE), Presidio Networked Solutions, and CGI. The Lafayette real estate market is less than healthy receiving only 0.5 out of 10 from Zillow. The current home value is $157,600; although this only reflects an increase of 0.1 percent, predictions expected an increase of $1.9 percent over the next year which provides hope for some market improvement. Currently, there are about 345 homes in foreclosure in the city. This number is as of August 2016, 11 percent lower than July 2016 but 79 percent higher than August 2015. The average list price is $244,460, two to three bedroom homes start around $30,000 and reach a maximum around $2 million for a four or five-bedroom house. While about 1502 homes are for sale, an additional 165 are for rent. The rent index of $1369 is 6 percent lower than last year (2015) and the median rent is $1300. A one-bedroom apartment starts for $450 to $500, a four-bedroom house rents for $3000 per month, and a five bedroom rents for about $4000 per month.
Houma is known for its Cajun roots as well as the shrimpers, oystermen, crabbers, fishermen, and trappers. The oil industry and ship building business are also vital to the city’s economy. The downtown historic district is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The estimated population is 34,287 residents, 77 percent of which own their homes, 26 percent who are single, and of a median age of 36 years. The Houma real estate market is less healthy earning only a 1.3 out of 10 from Zillow. Approximately 503 homes are for sale with an additional 37 for rent. Home values are currently 2.5 percent higher than last year, $148,100, and expected to increase another 2.4 percent over the next year. The average listing price is $196,069; most listing are for three or four-bedroom homes for more than $200,000 up to large properties pried just over $2.5 million. Forty-three homes are in foreclosure, 58 percent less than the previous month but 150 percent higher than the previous year. The rent index is at $1170, 16 percent lower than last year. Median rental prices are $1200. Listings include two-bedroom units starting at $600 to three or four-bedroom houses for $2000 to five-bedroom homes for $3000 per month.