While the Lafayette economy is getting hammered by the continued low price of oil, the situation is creating opportunities for those who believe now is the best time to invest in the market.
Local real estate broker Chad Ortte, who specializes in mixed-use, urban infill development, recently acquired a three office-building complex on a 2.2-acre tract in the historic Freetown District in Lafayette. The property had been listed on the market for $1.4 million for more than two years. Ortte acquired it for $450,000.
“I think it’s healthy for cities to go through a downturn because the values and cost get reset and in the long term you have to come out of this more diversified,” he says. “It also allows people to buy low and gain equity, whether an office or house.”
Buying in New Orleans, Lake Charles and even parts of Baton Rouge is beyond the reach of many investors right now because prices are high, if not inflated, Ortte says. In the Lafayette market, by contrast, prices are far more attractive.
“So long term, as it comes out of the downturn, which it will, you have a lot more diverse equity spread out across the market,” he says.