Real Estate

Unprecedented Louisiana flooding drastically alters local housing markets

New displacement sends spike in rental demand

Unprecedented flooding in Louisiana led to the rescue of more than 20,000 people, according to an article by Scott Calvert for The Wall Street Journal.

Now, this will change the housing market in the area as thousands of displaced residents seek new housing.

Local real estate experts are already seeing long-term shifts in available real estate.

As of July there were 3,382 homes on the market in the Baton Rouge area, according to figures compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. This number already represented a constricted supply of housing, according to another article by Timothy Boone for The Advocate.

The number of homes on the market is 15% lower than last year, the article states.

From the article:

In the immediate aftermath of the flooding, Ginger Maulden, president-elect of the GBRAR, said she expects the inventory will drop even further. Some people who had listed their property may end up taking it off the market and letting displaced family or friends live there. Some homes that were listed may have been damaged by floodwaters and can’t be sold at the current time.

“We already had a situation in our market when people were getting multiple offers for their houses,” said Maulden, with Coldwell Banker One in Prairieville. “It’s going to be crazy.”

Not only has the flooding influenced the market’s inventory, but is also changed what potential homebuyers are looking for when it comes to renting versus buying a home.

From the article:

The flooding has already created a shift in what people are looking for. Haase said that 84% of the traffic on C.J. Brown’s website one night was people who were looking for rental housing. Before that, normally 3% to 5% of the people on the website were looking for places to rent.

And it’s no wonder there’s been such a shift. About 110,000 homes were identified as being in areas that saw flood waters, according to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

Some sellers are actually hoping their offers on their homes will fall through so they can relist their home at a higher price, according to the article.

The good news is, Fannie Mae granted mortgage servicers additional leeway to help some of Louisiana’s flood victims. Shortly afterward, Freddie Mac released their disaster relief policies as well.

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