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, giving people a chance to get a feel for what’s going on in the area after the August flood.

“The market-wide impact is not quite as large as it could have been,” said Sean McDonald, 2017 Trends chairman. “The flooding was concentrated in heavily residential areas, so a lot of the other property types have not been that badly impacted.”

Officials with the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors said coming up with a residential forecast has been difficult because the flooding not only impacted the demand for housing, but the supply of homes.

"We’re still working through the aftermath and it will be some time still (maybe even years) before we’re through enough of it to fully gauge the impact,” said Saiward Hromadka, a spokeswoman for the association.

The curiosity about what’s going on in the market, and the reputation of Trends as being a place to go for the best local information is driving interest in the event.

McDonald said additional ballroom space has been added to accommodate a larger crowd in the events center of the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Thursday, followed by the seminar from 8 a.m. to noon. 

“Last year, we could seat 800 people, but there wasn’t very much space between seats,” he said.”This year, we can seat 850 to 900 with more room for everyone.”

The event still is expected to sell out before Thursday, with registration at batonrougetrends.net.

Trends in Real Estate started in 1988 as a joint project of the commercial and investment division of the association and LSU’s Real Estate Research Institute. Teams of local real estate professionals in the finance, industrial, multifamily, office, residential and retail sectors provide the latest information about what is going on in their field. The goal of the program is to educate members of the division, their clients and other real estate practitioners in the greater Baton Rouge area about trends in the market.

This year, the seminar is bringing back the section that covers subdivisions that are under construction, because of all of the interest in housing supply after the flood.

McDonald said the seminar started discussing just home sales activity several years ago when the market shifted from subdivisions being sold to builders one lot at a time to large-scale builders buying up lots in bulk. “That changed some of the data,” he said.

Along with the local outlook, Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness and an expert in the field of business and economic forecasting, will be on hand to provide a forecast for the national real estate market.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.