BR-area home sales unchanged in April

The number of homes sold in metro Baton Rouge was unchanged in April when compared against the sales from a year before.

There were 797 home sales that closed in April in the nine-parish area, the exact same number that closed in April 2013, according to figures released Friday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors for the eight-parish area.

Through the first four months of 2014, Capital Region home sales are up by 0.5 percent, from 2,570 to 2,582.

Sales in East Baton Rouge Parish, the biggest market, dropped by 1.9 percent in April, slipping from 428 to 420 from a year ago.

Ascension Parish had a bigger drop, falling by 10.8 percent, from 166 sales in 2013 to 148. Livingston Parish posted an increase, going from 137 in April 2013 to 150 last month, a 9.5 percent increase.

Ginger Maulden, chair of the Ascension Council of Realtors Governing Board, said she was surprised to hear that home sales dropped in April “especially in Ascension.”

“It seems like home sales are steadily going up,” she said.

Maulden, an agent with Coldwell Banker One in Prairieville, blamed the drop in sales to a lack of inventory. “The one thing is supply,” she said. “There are not as many homes on the market, and it’s harder for people to find what they want. More people are building, but that takes time.”

The inventory crunch doesn’t look like it will significantly change any time soon. The number of homes for sale in the Capital Region fell 9.4 percent in April to 3,880. The supply in months was 5.3, compared with 6.4 in 2013.

The number of new listings on the market was down 0.6 percent from 1,266 in 2013 to 1,259.

The number of listings is starting to pick up, as people who plan on selling their homes start to put their property on the market now that the school year is winding down, Maulden said.

“Everything that I have listed in Ascension has moved within 30 days,” she said. “Several of the houses we’ve gotten two or three offers on.”

Pending sales in the metro area were up 17.1 percent from 873 to 1,022 in April.

The median sales price was down 4.2 percent from $178,950 to $171,385 last month.

The average number of days a home was on the market was unchanged at 91.

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