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realtors/speculators - need a hot market?

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by FoX, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. FoX

    FoX Beach Fanatic

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    NOLA.com

    Baton Rouge has seen a flurry of real estate activity this week with thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees descending on the city.

    Local realtors said Thursday that many families are buying homes in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area because they realize that a return to the Big Easy is a big time away. And businesses displaced by the storm are snapping up office and warehouse space in the state?s capital city because they realize it may be years before they return home.

    Some consumers with solid credit scores and large down payments are getting virtually non-paper mortgages within days instead of the weeks the process usually takes.

    Lynda Schlif of Realty Executives Integrity First Real Estate said that her office has been "swamped, swamped swamped.?

    Schiff said her small firm posted sales volume of about $15 million last year and she expects that volume to rise 50 percent this year because of Hurricane Katrina.

    "Hollywood couldn't write a worst script,'' said Arthur Sterbcow, president of Latter & Blum Inc. Realtors in New Orleans. Latter & Blum also owns C.J. Brown Realtors, Baton Rouge's largest real estate company. The Baton Rouge market -- just a fraction of New Orleans ? will be hard pressed to accommodate the surge of evacuees.

    "Baton Rouge is about to become the fastest growing city in America in about an hour,'' Sterbcow said from his temporary headquarters on Perkins Avenue in Baton Rouge. "This is the largest (relocation) operation in our company's history.?

    Baton Rouge's population was 450,000 a week ago. ?I bet you it is 650,000 today,'' he said.
    Jim and Donna Vance, Algiers residents, are among the evacuees coming to the city. On Thursday they headed out to look at a house and Catholic High Schools in Baton Rouge. They even made an offer on a home, but by the time they did, the property had been sold.

    ?People are just going to have to act quick,? said CJ Brown agent Dave Caraccioli.

    Latter & Blum manages between 7,000 and 8,000 apartments in the metro Baton Rouge area, and Sterbcow, who watched on CNN Wednesday night as a bare-chested "thug'' with a crowbar broke into Latter & Blum's main headquarters in downtown New Orleans, said that all of his rental units are leased.

    Sterbcow has set up a relocation phone bank to handle the demand. His brokers and agents are helping New Orleans residents move to Houston, Atlanta and everywhere in-between.

    He is convinced that New Orleans will return to its glory days, but that it may take residents and the nation 20 years to erase the psychological and economical impact Hurricane Katrina has created.

    He also predicts, with other local Realtors agreeing, that Baton Rouge will become the fastest-growing city in the United States over the next year or two, surpassing the explosion of population and single-family home construction seen in Las Vegas

    But Sterbcow is determined to return to New Orleans. "When the power is back on, I'll be sitting in my office at 800 Common St.,'' he said, downplaying any thought that the city will not be rebuilt, as some television talking heads have suggested.

    One thing Baton Rouge has that New Orleans has always lacked is land, and Sterbcow expects a surge in single-family home construction and a real estate boom unimaginable to the area just five days ago.

    Latter Blum/C.J. Brown is not alone in being flooded with requests for space.
    David McKey of Coldwell Banker Phelps & McKey Realtors Inc. of Baton Rouge are buying both commercial buildings and homes.

    "They don't have a choice, that's really the only alternative,? McKey said.

    McKey?s staff fielded over 300 to 350 calls in two days from New Orleanians seeking commercial and residential space.

    ?We?ve just had two in a row looking to buy and they have no intention of ever returning to New Orleans,? McKey said.

    McKey said that he expects the Baton Rouge real estate market to bounce dramatically. "I think this is going to go on not for months but for years,'' he said.
     
  2. Rita

    Rita margarita brocolia

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    Re: realtors - need a hot market?

    Local newscasters in the DFW area report that nearly all evacuees they have spoken with plan to relocate.

    I'm headed out now to buy backpacks and school supplies for some of the families enrolling in my daughter's school here in Arlington. Have a lead on 4 jobs that may help some of them too.

    Dallas' Reunion Arena can't hold all that are coming and Astrodome filled earlier.
     
  3. OnMackBayou

    OnMackBayou Beach Lover

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    Re: realtors - need a hot market?

    My wife just brought our daughter home from Butler Elementary. She was told there are 60 new children there as of today, relocated from the effects of Katrina.
     
  4. kurt

    kurt Admin Staff Member

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    Re: realtors - need a hot market?

    I'll bet not many will return once the sand gets between their toes. ;-)
     
  5. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Re: realtors - need a hot market?

    I agree. Not only for the people who escape here, but elsewhere, too, even places without sand. People hate change. For them to be out of NOLA for at least 1 year without housing, they are sure to get jobs in their temporary town. They may even fall in love with towns which are so generous, and filled with loving, compassionate people. Remember, many will be coming out of NewOrleans, the murder capital of the USA. After setting up jobs, careers and housing, and establishing new friends, I don't think most people are likely to go back to a city that is not there. People, as a whole, dislike change. Most are likely tol stay in the place to where they ran for safety and comfort.
     
  6. OnMackBayou

    OnMackBayou Beach Lover

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    Re: realtors - need a hot market?

    Amen Kurt and SJ.

    It struck me a while back, it should have been obvious, one reason people like it here, and the reason some of those displaced people may decide to stay here permanently. It's the same reason I used to like it in Naples, before it became a Palm Beachy kind of place.

    It's because everyone is just so darn happy to be here and it creates such a great karma. The locals of course are really happy to be able to be here full time. The part timers love their opportunities to come down from wherever they have to live the rest of the time. And some of the happiest people are those at Publix on check in day when they're stocking up for their stay.

    Really, I know most of those who are here involuntarily must miss and be proud of their hometowns. But I bet after they're here awhile some of them will not be going back.
     
  7. SlowMovin

    SlowMovin Beach Fanatic

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    Amen Kurt, SJ and Mack...
    I've had a number of conversations with realtors and property managers over the last couple of days. While I wish Katrina had never happened, it nevertheless will bring change and some of it may be positive.

    A lot of people are moving into the area...some will stay. Many of these people already had second homes here which--as of Monday--just got converted to primary residences. And all of them are people who owned their own businesses or were otherwise successful at what they did.

    Think about what happens when entrepreneurial, business-savvy types have to rebuild their lives. These are not people who roll over, play dead and go on the dole. Expect to see an influx of new businesses start up over the next year or so. Which means more hiring. Which means secondary markets. Which means more development. Which means--ahh, you get the picture...

    Could even shift the political demographics of Walton county.

    Won't happen overnight, of course. Short-term effects will likely involve shortages of goods and services with the accompanying price-hikes that such shortages always cause. Nor is today's county infrastructure capable of handling a population spike (hell, we can't even deal with the current population). And there's no guarantee the next Cat 5 might not decide to make landfall here.

    But once we adjust, all of this just might mean that alleged "bubble" may not be bursting after all. At least not anytime soon.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005
  8. beachyteachy

    beachyteachy Beach Fanatic

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    There are much more than 60. I think we registered 60 at Butler today.
     
  9. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Didn't you say that you registered some 40-60 kids yesterday, too?
     
  10. SGB

    SGB Beach Fanatic

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    As of 2:30 today, more than 100 new students had been registered at Butler. The staff there did an amazing job handling all the emotional people. Everyone that came in was very impressed with our school and the treatment they received.
     
  11. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    University of Michigan and other colleges/university throughout the country are welcoming students who are enrolled in colleges/universities damaged by Katrina.
     
  12. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    Isn't this AWESOME? I just read that Mizzou has welcomed some Tulane students and may even waive some fees! It's happening all over this great land!
     
  13. beachyteachy

    beachyteachy Beach Fanatic

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    Yep. And we still expect to get the after Labor Day rush too that is not associated with Hurricane Katrina.
     
  14. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Markets near hurricane-affected areas see boom


    GULF COAST -- Sept. 8, 2005 -- Just a week after Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, rental property is all but gone and for-sale listings are disappearing rapidly in cities close to the affected areas in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

    People who were displaced by the hurricane have quickly moved to nearby locales where they can rebuild their lives, but those who didn't move fast enough face dwindling inventory.

    "LaFayette?s housing supply is going fast," says Mary Jane Bauer, association executive for the LaFayette (La.) Board of Realtors which is about 130 miles from New Orleans. "The rental market disappeared in a couple of days. Commercial space is at a premium."

    The multiple listing service (MLS) there did about six weeks worth of business in one week, according to Steven Hebert, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Pelican in Lafayette. "The MLS averages about 313 sold units a month. In a week, we sold 262 units. And by the end of the first week, almost all commercial inventory was off the market as companies look for warehouse and industrial space."

    Baton Rouge, La., 80 miles from New Orleans, is seeing multiple bidding, which it hadn?t before the hurricane, says Herb Gomez, association executive with the Baton Rouge Association of Realtors. "Before we had a steady market with 8 percent to 10 percent increase in sales a year. We expected to be flat this year. That?s not going to happen." Gomez says that last week there were 2,000 vacant apartment units, according to a local apartment association. This week there are none.

    Although he doesn?t have statistics, he suspects commercial space is moving swiftly, too. "By the time practitioners faxed listing sheets on 30 commercial properties in response to an inquiry, the properties were already leased," he says. "Law firms and banks are leasing space for their displaced workers. And adjusters and insurance people need long-term temporary space."

    Linda Moore, association executive for the Shreveport (La.) Association of Realtors, says the rental and for-sale momentum is now reaching that market, which is about 330 miles north of New Orleans. And it?s not stopping there.

    The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that companies in and around New Orleans are reaching out as far as Houston and Dallas for office space. In Meridian, Miss., about 170 miles from Biloxi, where electricity and phones were still coming back on line this week, the Meridian boards association executive Laura Miller says rentals are tight and people are looking for manufactured housing. For now, this activity is good news for the region.

    What worries practitioners and association executives is what happens if and when the inventory dries up? "What does that do to your ability to sell?" asks Bauer, whose son rehabs old homes in New Orleans. He and his wife are now living with her. "Of course, builders will be building quickly."

    Hebert says the pace may not die down soon since the flurry of buying has spawned locals already in market to put their homes up for sale, too. "We have a healthy market here anyway; there?s a good appetite among local buyers." Has the buying frenzy led to gouging? Practitioners and AEs say they?re only aware of a few anecdotal cases. "I heard that one practitioner was asked to raise the price on a listing, but the practitioner refused," Hebert says.

    He adds that most homes are selling right at list price although some new listings are priced too high. Some markets are welcoming their displaced brethren from New Orleans and elsewhere. "We?re waiving the new-member fee and MLS fees for 90 days for Realtors who want to enter this market and affiliate with a broker who?s here," Bauer says. She says about a dozen practitioners have expressed interest.

    Gomez says his board of directors would be meeting to decide about similar waivers. Hebert believes people eventually will go back to their homes in devastated areas. "I?d want to get back to my hometown," he says. "That would be my first preference. But the decision will depend on what employers do. If your employer says, ?You?re employed with me as long as you want to be, but your job is now in Baton Rouge or Houston,? the decision may be made for you."

    Source: REALTOR? Magazine Online, Christina Hoffmann Spira, Sept. 7, 2005

    ? 2005 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
     
  15. optimama1957

    optimama1957 Beach Comber

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    The repercussions of this storm on the housing market,as well as comercial real estate,is very far reaching...even as far as the Tamba Bay area here in Florida
     
  16. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    Tell us more. Are you guys in a selling craze with people moving in, or has Katrina made people think twice about buying in Tampa Bay, where some say it is waiting for a major disaster?:idontno:
     
  17. newyorker

    newyorker Beach Lover

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    Colleges all over are doing their best to help out NO students--I'm part of a 3 member task force at Union College (upstate NY)--we've admitted between 5-7 Tulane students (some were first-years, others upperclass students). I'm particularly proud that we were reaching out to the historically black schools (Tulane will be fine, but the others are in the midst of the worst flooding.) Our Board of Trustees, in fact, decided almost immediately, to donate personal funds for scholarships.
    The tricky thing is to help out these colleges by NOT taking their students permanently and by NOT taking their fall tuition monies.
     
  18. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Hmmm. Why is Tampa Bay waiting for a major disaster? Are they more likely to get hit by a devastating storm than we are? Is there something about Tampa (e.g., location, people, etc.) that makes it more at risk for devastation? (I'm asking because I have in-laws in Sarasota not too far from Tampa, so I'm wondering...)
     
  19. wetwilly

    wetwilly Beach Fanatic

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    Unfortunately, IMO, all coastal areas are at some point in the future "waiting" for or will be hit with a major disaster/storm. Not trying to cause a panic or offend anyone here but if you live on or near the coast then you are in a risk zone. Obvious statement I must admit but true. Some are more disaster prone than others (heavily industrialized, populated, city center etc) but all are at risk depending on the size/strength of storm, where and how the storm tracks, and other factors.

    This is a fact and has been for 1000s of years. However, with the boom in developing, buying/selling, building in these coastal areas over the past 40-60 years comes the increased danger to human life and property. Tampa/St Pete, Miami, Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Jax, and the list goes on are fairly highly populated areas in Fla that if a massive strom hit there would be potential for high loss of life and property.

    Knowing these facts, some people still want to be near/on the water and my wife and I and many of you are obviously in this group too. We know the risk and we are (or have been up to this point) willing to accept it. Other people do not like being near/on or even going to the beach or since these devistating storms have decided not to go or live near/on the water anymore.

    In fact, this past weekend in SoWal we met a woman from coastal Miss and she told us that she lived on the gulf near Gulfport and loved it but that her house was totally wiped away by Katrina (nothing left at all). She was standing in front of us tearing up as she told us her story and then stopped tearing up and smiled and looked out at the water watching her kids skimboard along Eastern Lake outflow and said "we will rebuild and we will still live on the gulf because we love it and all it brings us in happiness.....maybe we will look in this area vs going back to Miss....?". That is the spirit of people that love the water.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2005
  20. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    From what I understand, it has to do with the shape of that particular Bay, which some scientist say puts Tampa Bay at great risk of major storm surge. Also, the Washington DC area is at high risk supposedly do to the Chesapeake Bay, and NYC is another place at great risk from storm surge. Of course, a storm would have to hit just right to bring the surge in, but if one does, they say the folks in those area should look out. I don't think these cities are below sea level like NOLA, but they may still have much damage due to the surge.
     

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