Baton Rouge continues to top an index that measures how housing and economic activity in a city compares with normal historical levels.
Baton Rouge was at 1.39 in the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index for the third quarter, meaning that the local market is 39 percent better than normal levels. That’s based on single-family home permits, house price appreciation information and employment data over the past 12 months.
Lafayette was ranked as the 10th-best small city, with an LMI index of 1.24. Midland, Texas, was the top small city, with an index of 2.31.
New Orleans was tied with Charleston, South Carolina, for the ninth spot on the large market list, with an index of 1, meaning that housing activity is right at historic levels.
All other Louisiana cities included in the index had an LMI of more than 1. Monroe was the third-best performing city overall in the state at 1.09, Houma was right behind at 1.08, then Shreveport at 1.07. Alexandria had an LMI of 1.04 and Lake Charles came in at 1.03.
Since the LMI started being compiled in October 2013, Baton Rouge has been the top-ranked large city on the list. The list was originally released monthly, but this was the first quarterly report.
The NAHB said the national average is 0.90, meaning that economic activity is just 90 percent of historic levels.
The report looks at activity in 350 metro areas and compares them against single-family permits and home prices from where they stood in 2000 to 2003 and employment from 2007.