The million-dollar residential question in Baton Rouge 

    If you want to spend at least $1 million on a ready-made home, you’ve come to the right city.

    You can choose from one of several Traditional Neighborhood Developments—or projects that closely mirror TNDs—that have sprung into mixed-use life around Baton Rouge in recent years. Developments like Rouzan, Pointe Marie, Valhalla, The Settlement at Willow Grove, Long Farm Village, and Adelia at Old Goodwood. And more projects targeting the high-end buyer are on the way, including a 13-lot residential community being planned along Brentwood Drive near the Country Club Place development that has home prices starting in the $500,000 range.

    A cursory search of the MLS recently showed 113 active, single-family homes on the greater Baton Rouge market listing for at least $1 million, of which 84 were located inside the Baton Rouge city limits alone. Meanwhile, the greater area also saw the number of sales of new construction homes in the $1 million price range grow from two (2016) to six (2017) to seven (2018), indicating increased homebuilding.

    It’s amassed a nearly two-year supply of million-dollar-plus homes in the greater market, leading many local real estate experts to say the high-end market—particularly in Baton Rouge—is overstocked.

    “At some point, it feels like we’re going to run out of space to build,” says Scott Gaspard, a senior partner with RE/Max First, who closely follows the market. “A lot of people are competing for the same market. It’s a good time to be a buyer.”

    Some, like Gaspard, chalk up the lacking demand to affluent buyers’ preference toward customization, with others adding millennial tastes—different from previous generations—contribute to slow activity with the existing housing stock. Also, despite anticipating lower interest rates than usual, buyers wanting to upgrade from a $500,000 home might not want to double their property taxes and insurance rates by moving into a $1 million home, instead of opting to tear down and flip a house.

    Whatever its roots, everyone recognizes the result: There are too many pricey homes in certain local pockets, and not enough buyers to go around.

    Read the full story as featured in the latest issue of Business Report. Send comments to editor@businessreport.com.   

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