Baton Rouge real estate sectors rebounding but residential boom a surprise

    In some sectors, the Baton Rouge real estate market in mid-2021 appears to be shaping up in ways that local real estate brokers were predicting last year at this time.

    The office sector, already soft before COVID-19, is reeling from the massive disruption caused by the abrupt shift to working from home. Though some employees have returned to the office—and still more will follow in the months to come—entire industries are now realizing they can downsize their office space and save on rent without sacrificing productivity.

    The retail sector took a huge hit early on in the pandemic, when stay-at-home orders went into effect, and the already rapid increase in online shopping grew exponentially. But the restaurants, salons and health clubs that fill a growing amount of retail strip center space have since rebounded, as a population that was tired of being cooped up for months of 2020 is happy to be out spending federal stimulus money.

    As for the industrial sector, it saw a slight uptick in activity in 2020, fueled in part by the need for the fulfillment and distribution centers that are a key component of e-retail logistics.

    But while none of those sector trends is particularly unexpected given the circumstances, there are a couple of curiosities about the local market, namely: What’s behind the boom in the residential sector at a time when the population isn’t growing and the number of jobs is shrinking?  

    Read the full cover package about the state of Baton Rouge real estate from the latest edition of Business Report.