This seven-bedroom, 9,556-square-foot home at 18423 N. Mission Hills Ave. in the Country Club of Louisiana sold for $3.2 million on Sept. 15, and was the second most expensive home sale of 2016. All photography by Don Kadair
High-end homes were in high demand in 2016, while sales slowed among those priced between $500,000 and $1 million
Say what you will about 2016, but when it comes to high-end real estate in Baton Rouge the much-maligned year was not only good but great—especially for those seeking top-dollar for their luxury homes and the real estate agents representing them.
Of the 10 most expensive home sales in East Baton Rouge Parish that Business Report was able to identify through public records, seven were for $2 million or more. Not so long ago—as recently as 2012, for example—only one home in the local market sold for more than $2 million, and at the time agents thought that was a good year.
“I’ve been with C.J. Brown for more than 30 years and 2016 was better than any year I can remember,” says Ann Mullins, who brokered a $2.35 million sale in Oak Alley last March.
As in years past, the majority of top-dollar sales were in either the Country Club of Louisiana or Jefferson Place-Bocage, which each had three houses on the top 10 list. Other exclusive areas included Moss Side Place, Oak Alley, Woodgate Crossing and Highland Shadows.
Also noteworthy is the fact that more than 15 homes sold for more than $1.2 million, which, again, is a record number. Just a few years ago, Business Report’s top 10 list included several homes that sold for between $1 million and $1.5 million. Now, those homes don’t even make the cut.
Local real estate agents who specialize in the upper-end segment of the market cannot say for sure what was behind the 2016 boom, but they all agree it was one for the books.
“I think it says a lot for the confidence people have in the market,” says Ruthie Golden of Pro Sold Realty, who sold the most expensive home in the market last year for $5.5 million. “It shows there is a real confidence in the future of the market.”
Not only did home sale prices exceed record limits, but vacant lots in upscale developments also sold for record prices, some approaching the $1 million range.
“Last year was crazy,” says Quita Cutrer of Burns & Co., who brokered several of the priciest deals in the market. “Prices were off the charts.”
Buyers in the market for the area’s high-end homes wanted several things: Good locations in desirable neighborhoods and quality design, says Mullins, who noticed a resurgent demand for traditional, south Louisiana architecture.
“One thing I noticed was people wanted the traditional, Hays Town homes,” she says.
While seven-figure homes were in high demand and sold quickly, Cutrer says that phenomenon was not true across the board. High-end home sales were strong, as were sales of smaller homes and starter homes in desirable neighborhoods. But homes in the $500,000 to $700,000 range didn’t do as well.
“Homes in that middle price range kind of stagnated,” says Cutrer. “I’m not sure why, but there seems to be more demand for the high-end and the lower-end inventory, which, if it’s any good at all, just flies off the shelf.”
While the August flood impacted some segments of the local housing market, the disaster didn’t seem to have any effect one way or the other on high-end home sales, agents say. That’s not expected to change this year, nor is the demand for luxury homes. So far, agents say the first few weeks of 2017 have been just as strong as last year.
“Baton Rouge is rocking,” Golden says. “Anybody who says it’s not doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”
Baton Rouge’s 10 most expensive homes sales of 2016
#1 $5.5 million
Address: 18002 N. Mission Hills Ave. | List price: Not listed | Subdivision: Country Club of Louisiana | Living space: 11,509 square feet | Bedrooms: 6 | Bathrooms: 7 full, 2 half | Year built: 1995 | Seller: Earl James Wilde III | Buyer: Greg W. and Jennifer E. Tramontin | Listing agent: Ruthie Golden, Pro Sold Realty | Buyer’s agent: Quita Cutrer, Burns & Co. | Closing Date: Dec. 29
#2 $3.2 million
Address: 18423 N. Mission Hills Ave. | List price: $3.95 million | Subdivision: Country Club of Louisiana | Living space: 9,556 square feet | Bedrooms: 7 | Bathrooms: 6 full, 2 half | Year built: 2011 | Seller: James M. and Marsha K. Baker | Buyer: Thomas F. Lozick | Listing agent: Quita Cutrer, Burns & Co. | Buyer’s agent: Quita Cutrer, Burns & Co. | Closing Date: Sept. 15
Address: 7255 Bocage Blvd. | List price: N/A | Subdivision: Bocage | Living space: 8,620 square feet | Bedrooms: N/A | Bathrooms: N/A | Year built: 1990 | Seller: Laura S. and James J. Bailey III | Buyer: Remi P. and Jeffrey S. Jenkins | Listing agent: N/A | Buyer’s agent: N/A | Closing Date: July 27
Address: 6729 Pikes Lane | List price: $2.5 million | Subdivision: Moss Side Place | Living space: 7,274 square feet | Bedrooms: 4 | Bathrooms: 4 full, 1 half | Year built: 1976 | Seller: Marianna B. Barber | Buyer: Todd W. and Ainsley R. Grigsby | Listing agent: Peggy Callihan, Burns & Co. | Buyer’s agent: Peggy Callihan, Burns & Co. | Closing Date: March 24
Address: 2 Oak Alley | List price: $2.4 million | Subdivision: Oak Alley | Living space: 6,321 square feet | Bedrooms: 5 | Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 half | Year built: Approximately 1990 | Seller: Kathryn S. and Luther C. Kissam IV | Buyer: NEI Global Relocation Company | Listing agent: Ann Mullins, C.J. Brown | Buyer’s agent: Joy Gremillion, Coldwell Banker One | Closing Date: March 16
HOW DID WE GET THIS INFORMATION?
Business Report obtained sales information through a variety of sources, and all of it was verified using public records from the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court. Business Report cannot guarantee this is a complete list of the most expensive home sales of 2016, as some buyers and sellers decline to list an accurate sale price in the public record.
Baton Rougeans are increasingly going to great lengths to keep their high-end home buys out of the public record
Address: 7575 Boyce Drive | List price: N/A | Subdivision: Jefferson Place | Living space: N/A | Bedrooms: N/A | Bathrooms: N/A | Year built: Home is currently under construction | Seller: Turnley Development LLC | Buyer: Mark D. and Christin A. Spender | Listing agent: N/A | Buyer’s agent: N/A | Closing Date: Oct. 14
Address: 7465 Boyce Drive | List price: $2.2 million | Subdivision: Jefferson Place | Living space: 6,915 square feet | Bedrooms: 5 | Bathrooms: 5 full, 1 partial | Year built: 2013 | Seller: Mark W. and Kelly O. Ashworth | Buyer: Monte D. and Patricia C. Rector | Listing agent: Heather Kirkpatrick, KDK Capital Region Realty | Buyer’s agent: Kerry S. Boyd- Capron, Ruston Properties | Closing Date: March 23
Address: 6913 Chandler Drive | List price: $1.72 million | Subdivision: Woodgate Crossing | Living space: 5,538 square feet | Bedrooms: 5 | Bathrooms: 5 | Year built: 1993 | Seller: Daniel T. and Sarah R. Fontenot | Buyer: John B. and Cinclare H. Sessums | Listing agent: Unrepresented | Buyer’s agent: Leigh J. Adams, RE/MAX Professional | Closing Date: May 23
Address: 19118 S. Augusta Drive | List price: $1.95 million | Subdivision: Country Club of Louisiana | Living space: 8,278 square feet | Bedrooms: 5 | Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 half | Year built: Approximately 1990 | Seller: Ralph P. Voorhies | Buyer: Steven and Valerie DeBosier | Listing agent: Quita Cutrer, Burns & Co. | Buyer’s agent: Summer Rathmann, RE/MAX Real Estate Group | Closing Date: Oct. 17