Sept. 7, 2012 02:12

55 - Percent increase in home sales volume in Lafayette Parish from July 2011 to July 2012

What a difference a year makes. July home sales skyrocketed in Lafayette Parish from this time last year with volume up 55 percent - $57.7 million in 2012 compared to $37.2 million in 2011. The number of homes sold in the parish is tracking almost as strongly, up 50 percent for the month-over-month comparison - 269 compared with 179 in 2011.

"The only difference between our market today and a year ago is buyer motivation," says Steven Hebert, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate. "This is a very intangible aspect driving buyer confidence - what's going on around them and their belief in what the future holds in terms of income, employment and the overall economy."

In the last year there is little change in major factors like interest rates, loan qualifications and the availability of homes or home prices.

With home sales for the first six months of 2012 up 17 percent from the same period in 2011, July's feverish activity is an indication that this sector is on the rise in a real way.

"After almost four years of being very tentative and cautious, buyers are now pulling the trigger in large numbers," Hebert adds.

And they're doing it in spite of a financing process that can be onerous with guidelines that remain stringent.

"Buyers are braving this obstacle because they feel this is the right time to buy and that their individual prospects and our local economic prospects are good and going to get better," Hebert reports. "I see this as homegrown, organic growth and a tremendous vote of confidence for Lafayette and Acadiana." - AB

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