Real estate is an investment and must be looked at as such. You want to invest somewhere your home value is sure to appreciate. By examining past home value and sales trends in a specific area, as well as that area’s economy, unemployments rates, job opportunities and tourist attractions, you can get a idea of whether home value prices are likely to rise or fall in that area. Areas with strong economies, low unemployment, plenty of jobs and lots of tourist attractions are more likely to have sharply increase home value appreciation.
That being said, there is one area in the U.S. that’s real estate market is still a bit of a mystery: Louisiana. With Hurricane Katrina driving so many people out of their homes and destroying still more homes (and consequently, home value), Louisiana has been focused on rebuilding itself and the New Orleans area in particular. Unlike any other state, Louisiana actually lost population in the past few years, with the 2006 census listing a population of 4,287,768 – several hundred thousand less people than in 2004, before Katrina. The state has been building back it’s economy and agricultural products such as seafood, cotton, soybeans, cattle, sugarcane, poultry and eggs, dairy and rice are being churned out as fast as possible. Also, industrial sectors are back in full swing of production, including chemical products, petroleum and coal, food processing, transportation equipment, paper products and tourism.
Even with the Katrina tragedy, Louisiana is still a center for tourism. Even a flooded, destroyed New Orleans brings in more tourists than many other areas in the U.S. The state can be broken down into 5 regions. Enjoy the world-famous New Orleans culture, music, food, architecture and love of life in the Greater New Orleans area. The most talked, sung and written about city in the Western World, New Orleans is so steeped in French and Spanish culture that some still consider it a European City. In Cajun Country you can enjoy the Creole and Cajun spice of life and spirit – while taking in the culture and a few wildlife adventures in the heart of the swamps and bayous. The Gulf of Mexico is also accessible from this area.
Plantation Country is full of old time plantations, turned into testaments of history and culture of a time when cotton was still king, as well as the capital city of Baton Rouge. At the Crossroads region (the center of Louisiana) you can enjoy outdoor adventure: hiking the National Forests, canoing, fishing, birding and hunting as well as the Native American culture that still lingers. Finally, there’s the norther region or the Sportsman’s Paradise, where woods, hills and lakes combine to provide any outdoor activity you could hope for. There’s also great nightlife, casino, gaming and entertainment venues for everyone in the area. Regardless of what you’re looking to do, you’re bound to find it somewhere in Louisiana.
The value of a home is different in every area of Louisiana, but it looks like undamaged homes are selling quickly to those who want to get back in the area. Since only undamaged homes are selling, and are in high demand, sellers have the ability to raise prices, unlike the rest of the U.S. at this point. As the state is built back up and past residents continue to move back, it seems likely that eventually Louisiana will recover, the market will become more balanced and stable, and home value will begin to appreciate again.