BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Better jobs and other factors are driving people around the Baton Rouge metro area to buy homes and that's good news for sellers because with fairly low inventory, they are getting close to what they're asking.
Over the last few years, Baton Rouge has become an attractive area to live. According to realtors, industrial jobs around the metro area is the main reason, but apartments with high rent and better paying jobs overall are also factors. For those selling their homes, that's good news. Buyers are paying about 97 percent of the asking price.
"I would say a majority of the market wants to have a home that's turn key," said Scott Gaspard, a real estate agent.
According to the Greater Baton Rouge Realtor Association, the oil and gas industry has been a top reason for the recent growth. That, in turn, has somewhat lowered the inventory and builders are capitalizing. Gaspard said areas in southeast Baton Rouge have become popular pockets for those looking to buy. It is also where a lot of new neighborhoods are. He added Hoo Shoo Too Road, Barringer Foreman and the Bluebonnet corridor are among the sought after areas.
Gaspard added talk related to the City of St. George did not make a play on the market. He explained that even though some buyers discussed it. Ultimately, if a house was nice, they bought it. The average home in Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes sold in less than 80 days.
Baton Rouge has been riding that wave since 2012, which is when the national market took a dive, but the economy was not impacted as much in the Capital City.
In October 2014, the date of the most recent numbers available from the realtor association, the average home sales price was just above $221,000. In October 2013, the average price was just more than $197,000.
Gaspard said in his experience, a lot of the home sales have been below the $300,000 mark. However, he added that the upper end - homes more than $500,000 - are doing better now than they have in the past.
The association also noted that Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish remain hot areas.
They expect inventory around the area will pick up after the beginning of the 2015.