Acadiana Business

Lafayette's real estate market on red-hot pace

by Leslie Turk

This year could go down as the third best for the residential real estate market, says Coldwell Banker's Steven Hebert. In his just released December market report, Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate Chief Operating Officer Steven Hebert has a hard time containing his optimism about how Lafayette Parish will end the year, predicting that 2012 will go down on the record books as the third best year ever.

"Each month, I struggle to find a new adjective to use in describing the growth of our real estate market this past year," Hebert writes, noting that at this time last year, he thought 2012 would be a strong year but could never have predicted the market would experience double-digit growth.

"As our year wraps up, it appears that 2012 will end up being the third best year in real estate sales for Lafayette Parish ever," he says. "No adjectives needed for that statement. Just let it sink in." The real estate exec predicts December will easily add another $30 million in sales to the $490 million recorded in the parish through the end of November, already an increase of 25 percent over the first 11 months of 2011, and if the year ends at $520 million, it'll just about equal the 2006 total of $522 million.

"Remember 2006," he continues, "the year after Katrina, when droves of businesses and individuals relocated to Lafayette and drove real estate sales along with just about everything else?"

What's different - and better - about this year is that there are no external factors or events driving the activity. "This is very organic growth driven by local buyers who have decided now is the time to buy in record numbers," Hebert says.

Read Hebert's upbeat report and outlook for the future of the market here.