Rising rates, volatile market making interest in Trends in Real Estate seminar ‘bigger than ever’


The annual Trends in Real Estate seminar, which features local experts providing forecasts for various sectors of the Baton Rouge real estate market, will be held Thursday.

After 35 years, interest in the seminar “is probably bigger than ever,” said Steve Legendre, Trends chairman.

Legendre attributes the increased interest to the volatility of the local real estate market in the past few years, due to higher interest rates and the COVID pandemic.

“We’re facing a new reality with the rising rates and alternative financing for commercial and investment properties,” he said.

The rising rates and their impact on the commercial and residential real estate market will be one of the major topics at this year’s Trends seminar. While higher rates have slowed home sales and new commercial activity, they’re also having an impact on investors buying existing properties, Legendre said.

“The higher the cost to borrow money, the smaller the return,” he said.

Most national and local observers expect the Federal Reserve will slow down the interest rate hikes it started last year in an attempt to get inflation under control, with rates stabilizing in the mid-5% range. “That’s a healthy number,” Legendre said.

The Trends seminar started in 1988 as a joint project of the commercial and investment division of LSU’s Real Estate Research Institute. The goal of the program is to educate members of the division, their clients and other real estate practitioners in the Baton Rouge area about the local real estate market.

Kevin Fagan, a senior vice president with Moody’s Investors Service, will be the keynote speaker. Moody’s recently acquired Catylist, which operates the Louisiana Commercial Database, an online listing of property available for sale or rent.

This gives Fagan a perspective on national and local real estate issues, Legendre said.

“Moody’s is really taking a strong interest in Louisiana as a whole in terms of research,” he said.

The seminar will be in the events center at the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Thursday, followed by the seminar from 8 a.m. to noon.

As of Monday afternoon, tickets were still available through the website batonrougetrends.net. Admission is $65.

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