Jan. 23, 2015 07:54 AM

Real estate had a big year in 2014, but so did the sale of freshly-built homes, breaking a record that had just been set the year before.

According to a recent blog from Steven Hebert, COO for Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate in Lafayette, 2014 saw a 22 percent increase in the sale of new homes built when compared with 2013, a year that also broke all previous yearly new construction totals.

In all, 1,116 new homes were built and sold last year, with sales totals coming in at $278 million. The year before saw the sale of 988 newly-built homes for $228 million.

Here’s how Hebert explains the upward trend:

The ability to provide this amount of inventory for hungry new homebuyers came in part from the addition of new builder competition. National and regional builders have been on the ground here for a number of years, but as they have gotten their footing in more recent years, their contributions to local homebuilder numbers have set the scene for this level of sales.

But there’s also a bit of nervousness in the air given the recent drop late last year in oil prices. And here’s what Hebert has to say on that front:

All of this great news comes as we enter uncertain times in 2015 due to falling crude oil prices around the world. Very few other parts of the country are as sensitive to oil prices as we are in South Louisiana. We have seen these headlines before and experienced this rollercoaster ride many times. It’s pretty safe to say that falling oil prices are a concern and impact the core industry of our area, but the big question is how deep and how long.

On the other hand, there are so many positives here in Acadiana and we have definitely diversified our economy. Our bread and butter in the oil patch is offshore and deepwater, investments that are less susceptible to short-term price fluctuations. The best news I can offer about the real estate market as we enter this period of uncertainty is that our market is in great shape and can absorb some correction.

For Hebert’s full report, visit his blog here.

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