BATON ROUGE - If you're searching for a rental property, chances are you'll be hunting for a while.
The rental market is saturated. Experts say it is currently at 98%, compared to its usual occupancy rate of 93%.
"This is a tight rental market, it's a good rental market for the property owners not so much for the renters," said Craig Davenport, appraiser for Cook Moore and Associates.
Davenport says demand for rental properties went up when thousands of flood victims were forced to search for temporary housing. Simultaneously, supply went down since dozens of rental units received flood damage.
"It's taken longer to renovate houses, it's taken longer for that federal money to get into the town to help fix up and renovate, said Davenport.
Rates have remained relatively stable, but according to Davenport, the biggest rate changes have been among low income rentals.
"The bigger impact is going to be on the lower income market where houses or properties that used to rent for $300 a month are destroyed," said Davenport.
He predicts the market to stay nearly at capacity for at least 6 months.