First 8 months in Lafayette Parish see 16% rise over 2007 record
LAFAYETTE — The local real estate market is on track for a record year in home sales, according a report analyzing sales figures for the first eight months of 2013.
January through August of this year saw 2,235 closed home sales in Lafayette Parish, a 27 percent increase over 2012 and a 16 percent increase over the market’s record year of 2007, according to an analysis by Van Eaton & Romero Chief Executive Officer Bill Bacqué based on sales reported to the Realtor Association of Acadiana.
“I would be almost shocked if we don’t end up ahead of 2007,” Bacqué said Wednesday.
The report also found that homes are selling more quickly in Lafayette Parish — an average of 86 days on the market so far this year compared with 102 for the same period last year — and that prices are inching up.
The median sales price for homes in the first eight months of 2013 was $182,000, about 3 percent higher than the median sales price of $177,000 for the first eight months of 2012, according to the report.
Bacqué said the main driving factors in the local real estate market are low interest rates coupled with a booming local economy.
“It sounds like a broken record, but the Lafayette economy is doing very well,” Bacqué said.
He cautioned that one issue that could slow the market is rising interest rates.
“Headwinds, not hurricane winds, but it certainly is a challenge,” Bacqué said.
In the near term, rising interest rates could bring two trends that cancel each other , discouraging one group of buyers while spurring another group to jump into the market while rates are still relatively low, he said.
He said another complicating factor is housing supply, which is dipping low enough in some price ranges that a supply-demand imbalance could push home prices up enough to cool the market.