New construction up 28 percent
The staggering turnaround in the local real estate market continued through August with new construction leading the trend with an increase of a whopping 28 percent from the same period last year.
“The overall market is up 22 percent and new construction up 35 percent in term of total volume sold,” says Steven Hebert, COO of Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate.
In fact, of the homes sold in Lafayette Parish this year 32 percent of them are new.
“This will easily be the biggest new homebuilding year in Lafayette Parish since 2007,” Hebert notes.
He says this increase is even larger than the one seen in 2010 when a Homebuyer Tax Credit assisted new home sales in a serious way. Not only are people on the hunt for new homes, but they are also buying bigger and better with the average price up by 6 percent since last year.
“New homes grab appeal from a large segment of buyers in our market today. Primarily young buyers opt for smaller but newer homes that are well designed with a ton of features,” Hebert says.
As buyers search for the best in features, builders find themselves in competition to truly differentiate their work from others. The result are homes loaded to the gills with extras that are often found in properties that would normally run between $300,000 and $350,000 rather than $225,000.
“Granite countertops have become the minimum standard, and peaked ceilings, compound crown moldings, wood floors, dramatic lighting and plumbing fixtures are all commonplace in very affordable homes today. It is also not a surprise to see outdoor kitchens and fireplaces on rear patios as you get into the mid-$200,000 range,” Hebert adds.
All this new construction is sprinkled through Lafayette Parish with a great deal in North Lafayette. However, the lion’s share of new building remains in the Broussard and Youngsville area with no signs of slowing down.
“With Ambassador Caffery Parkway being completed, improved traffic flow and new shopping and entertainment venues opening up, don’t expect this trend to stop anytime soon,” Hebert says. —AB