Lafayette Parish residential sales reported to the REALTOR Association of Acadiana’s Multiple Listing Service for September and October 2009 significantly outperformed the corresponding monthly sales reported in 2008. Typically, fourth quarter residential sales are the slowest for sales. The exception to that in our market was 2005 due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita which caused a enormous increase in sales for the end of that year. Also, last year with the national financial meltdown which began in July-August of 2008, closed sales for the fourth quarter were understandably slower beyond the normal seasonal dip. The sales numbers for September and October of 2009 for Lafayette Parish clearly indicates that stability has returned compared to last year. With Lafayette Parish cumulative sales reported through October 2009 just 2.89% below 2008 and the pace of the past two month’s sales well ahead of last year, we are becoming more confident that year end 2009 Lafayette sales will exceed those of 2008.
While Lafayette Parish residential sales have been surprisingly strong, those sales reported outside of Lafayette Parish (Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Jeff Davis, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermillion parishes) continue to experience significant drops in sales when compared to 2008 levels. The cumulative January – October combined sales for those parishes declined by nearly 24% versus the same period in 2008.
Lafayette Parish new construction home sales reported through October 2009 are actually up by 1.25% over 2008 while re-sales are 4.5% below their corresponding 2008 level.
In comparing Lafayette Parish home sales to past years, 2009 sales are ahead of 2004 (pre-Katrina year) by 9.4%, but lag behind the post-Katrina boom years of 2005, 2006 and 2007 by 10.75%, 14.3% and 17.2% respectively.
Based on January – October 2009 sales reported, the average sale price for a home in Lafayette Parish was $195,777. The average sale price for the same period in 2008 was $199,420. That represents a 1.8% overall decline in average sales price of 1.8%. The median sale price for 2009 versus 2008 remained essentially the same with 2009 being $171,250 versus $171,500 for 2008.
The average sale price for Lafayette Parish new construction sales declined from $228,153 in 2008 to $207,062 in 2009. That is a 9.24% decline. The new construction median sale price also declined to $177,500 from $187,200; a drop of 5.2%. Caution should be taken not to interpret these figures as indicative of actual value loss for newly constructed homes, rather it indicative of the change in the product type that most builders have moved to over the past two years and what the consumer is purchasing – lower priced, entry-level homes. That conclusion is further evidenced in the data provided on page 16 which indicates that sales of new construction in the under $150,000 price range has increased over 2008 by 25%. Just two years ago it would have been difficult to find any new homes in Lafayette Parish available at all.
The number of months supply analysis for Lafayette Parish home sales, indicate that the demand/supply ratio remains quite positive in all price ranges except those above $300,000. That is consistent for both re-sales and new construction indicating that this segment of our residential marketplace remains significantly challenging.
Our overall forecast for the Acadiana residential marketplace remains positive. Certainly, Lafayette Parish appears more stable than our adjacent parishes. With interest rates remaining near or at historic lows and with the renewal and expansion of the housing tax credit, we remain confident in the value of home ownership in our area.
Provided & Written By: Bill Bacque', CEO of Van Eaton & Romero, INC