Watch as two distinct realities emerge from Baton Rouge’s residential real estate scene over the next 12 months: One that looks like a seller’s market, and another that resembles a buyer’s market.
Big-picture, this means the local market will appear to tread closer to neutral ground throughout 2020 as price points draw the definitive lines between seller’s and buyer’s respective territories.
Overall, the local market—which averaged a rolling 4.8 months supply of inventory throughout 2019—still technically favors sellers, particularly those listing homes priced below $350,000. Baton Rouge homes sold for an average $234,500 over the past 12 months, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, which is below the most recent U.S. Housing Affordability Index of $275,000. And for homes listing under $500,000, pricing should remain consistent, with little variation in sales price documented over the past several months.
For these reasons, buyers should continue fetching newly constructed homes in neighborhoods mostly along the Burbank Drive corridor, such as Hunter’s Trace and The Willows at Bayou Fountain.
But those who’ve tried selling their Baton Rouge homes at or above the $500,000 price point would argue—and rightfully so—that buyers undoubtedly have the upper hand.
“We’ve done nothing in Baton Rouge since the beginning of the year except continue to add inventory,” Shelley Simmons of CJ Brown Realtors says of the high-end market. “It will take a long time for us to see a correction and bleed off that inventory.”
By the end of November, 454 homes within the price range were sitting on the market, contributing to 18.2 months of inventory. While their average listing price was $863,000, the average selling price was significantly lower at $658,000.
Above the $700,000 price point, the picture only gets more buyer-friendly, with 230 active listings leading to 46 months of inventory in November and homes selling for an average $947,000 against a $1.1 million asking price.
Sellers are beginning to take note. Expect more of them—especially those who don’t need to move for a career or other pressing reason—to take their homes off the market. Listing prices will gradually go down as demand takes its time to catch up.