May 1, 2015 01:02 PM

Despite a prevailing concern about the oil and gas industry and its impact on the local economy, real estate in Lafayette Parish is still on a roll. New construction sold is up 5.3 percent from early 2014 to early 2015.

“March was the best month in our 13-year history,” says Keller Williams Real Estate’s Walter Campbell. “April looks to be over the last April, and that was a record year.”

Jim Keaty of Keaty Real Estate says everything under $300,000 has an inventory of less than six months.

“It’s difficult to find homes right now,” he says.

Keaty says while the numbers show higher prices might be sitting on the market a bit, the truth is that it’s all about location. For example, homes around East Bayou Parkway or in the Saint Streets are gone in a flash in spite of a higher price point. And the southern portion of the parish continues to soar.

“South Lafayette is on fire,” Campbell says. “New construction is leading the pack. It’s $170 a square foot in some areas.”

Campbell says January permits in 2015 were up 12 percent from 2014, which was a recording-breaking year.

“A total of 1,503 contracts have closed in the last six months with an average sold price of $223,957,” Keaty reports in his April Market Dashboard.

And according to the Realtor Association of Acadiana, there were 220 closings in March 2015 versus 203 for the same month in 2014. It’s not a significant bump, but certainly an upward trend, according to Campbell.

“I don’t have rosy colored glasses. I’m looking at people in the know and at the West Texas Oil index,” Campbell says.