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Sandy Ogburn Sandlin's Blog

By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin | Broker in 70769

Baton Rouge Area Economy Growing in the Midst of Recession

acheivementBusiness Week recently named Baton Rouge one of the U.S. Metro's Least Touched by Recession as well as placed it as No. 8 on the magazine's list of Top 10 Metros in the U.S.  Based on a Booking's Institute's assessment of the economic health of 100 cities with populations over 600,000.  Baton Rouge fared well in the four areas studied: job growth, gross metro product, unemployment change, and home price change.


As the capitol of Louisiana, Baton Rouge has a stable base of government employment plus a strong, expanding energy sector and a strong educational sector.  In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the vibrant economy in Baton Rouge has been sparked in part by a construction boom.  Thousands of displaced families arrived in Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina and temporarily doubled the population.


Not everyone stayed, but the influx of people, as well as rampant property destruction, spurred demand for services and activity in the residential and commercial construction.   Currently, there are $5.1 billion of commercial construction projects underway, which includes Katrina repair and corporate expansion.  ExxonMobil (XOM), for example, is building a new chemical plant, while the French company SNF is building a new plant in the area.


This activity has made for good job growth and lower than average unemployment.  Baton Rough unemployment is currently 7.1%, a good 3% lower than the national average.  Wage growth has been weak.


It has also maintained the gross metropolitan product (GMP), which measures the value of all goods and services produced in the area.  Baton Rouge peaked in 2009 and hasn't declined much. This indicates that demand has remained stable, despite the recession.


In the Baton Rouge area, housing prices were up 3.3% in through June 30, 2009 according to the recent report mentioned in BusinessWeek, and have remained stable in the 9 parishes that make up the Greater Baton Rough area.  Though housing sites like Trulia show that prices are down in the city of Baton Rouge at the moment, the area is viewed as a market where prices will rise.


The Greater Baton Rouge area includes nine parishes - Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana. 


Beat the recession blues!  Buy a new home in Baton Rouge! Let Sandy and her team show you a wide selection of beautiful new and pre-owned homes in the Greater Baton Rouge area, including Baton Rouge, Prairieville, Gonzales, Denham Springs, Watson, Walker, Central, Greenwell Springs, Zachary, Baker, Port Allen, Brusly, Geismar, and St Amant.  We can also you answer any questions you might have about the home buyer's tax credit - $8,000 first time  buyers or $6,500 for repeat buyers.

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