Nov. 1, 2012 05:57 PM

Third quarter residential real estate up 21 percent.


Third quarter residential real estate up 21 percent. By Amanda Bedgood

November 2012

September proved to be another solid month in the Lafayette residential real estate market with a more than 20 percent increase in sales over September 2011, helping to fuel a 21 percent increase for this year's third quarter.

"New construction is up about 27.75 percent and resale is up 17.6 percent," says Bill Bacqué of Van Eaton and Romero, breaking down September's numbers.

The lion's share of those sales continue in the southern portion of the parish with no signs of slowing.

Pending sales indicate this trend will continue with October's report. Steven Hebert, COO of Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate, says last year in Lafayette Parish sales totaled $426 million and through three quarters of this year have already reached more than $400 million. At this point last year, sales totaled $328 million.

"While the last quarter will seasonally be milder than the last six months, this pace will still put total sales for the year in the $500 million range," Hebert notes.

The last time total sales reached such heights was in 2007 (the last year of the post-Katrina sales spike).

It's a measure that speaks to the strength of the local economy. "What kind of marketplace you have in the residential real estate market is reflective of [an] overall [economy] in a community," Bacqué says.

Low interest rates are resonating with potential buyers, and Bacqué points to Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers entering a new stage in life that often means home ownership. "Upper 20s and early 30s are driving a lot of the demand," he says.

On the upside for buyers, the average sale price has stabilized. "There's a significant increase in demand, but prices, at this point, are not escalating at a point that would diminish demand," Bacqué says. "The market is still stable as far as pricing is concerned and that's a good message ultimately for buyers."

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