Latter & Blum acquires Patterson Real Estate Agency in Houma _lowres

Photo provided by Latter & Blum -- Bob Merrick, left, chief executive officer of Latter & Blum Inc., Sandy Brooks and Ron Brooks, owners of Patterson Real Estate, and Rick Haase, president of Latter & Blum, mark the merger of the two companies.

Latter & Blum has acquired Houma-based Patterson Real Estate Agency Inc., the second deal the New Orleans real estate company has made in two months.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company will be renamed Latter & Blum Patterson Real Estate.

Patterson, which has 23 agents, has been in business in Houma since 1957.

Bob Merrick, chairman and CEO of Latter & Blum, said the deal to acquire Patterson was motivated by the same factors that led the company to acquire Lake Charles-based ERA Moffett Realty in August: to tap into the demand for homes driven by all of the job growth in the oil and gas and petrochemical industry.

“Our expansion into Lafayette in 2013, Lake Charles last month, and today’s entry into Houma-Thibodaux uniquely positions our company to benefit from the unprecedented industrial expansion underway in Louisiana,” Merrick said. “Tens of billions of dollars are being invested along Louisiana’s energy corridor from New Orleans to Texas.”

Merrick noted that people working in the oil and gas industry currently earn nearly twice as much as the average Louisiana worker, creating more affluent home buyers and demand for higher-priced homes.

“Houma-Thibodaux has the second-fastest job growth rate in Louisiana. Industry experts project 20,000 new jobs over the next decade. Our tools, services, and support are going to create new business opportunities for our agents,” said Rick Haase, president of Latter & Blum.

Ron Brooks, who co-owns Patterson, said the affiliation with Latter & Blum will bring new technologies and business opportunities to agents and will lead to better client services. “We believe our association with a regionally-prominent company will better position our people for the anticipated growth in our market,” he said.

The acquisition increases the size of Latter & Blum’s residential operations to more than 30 offices and more than 1,400 agents in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Latter & Blum, which was founded in 1916, is one of the 40 largest real estate firms in the U.S. based on unit sales. In 2013, the company had more than $2.92 billion in home sales.