It was a big year for residential real estate. By Amanda Bedgood
Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
There are tremendous events that can cause major shifts in the local real estate market — like Hurricane Katrina, which brought a swelling influx of buyers, or the oil bust of the 1980s that sent prices plummeting.
In 2012 no such events occurred. Still, homes purchased in Lafayette Parish in 2012 were up nearly $100 million from 2011, from $427 million to $525 million in 2012. Homebuyers boosted sales by 23 percent. It’s the second best year ever in the history of the parish with new construction booming more than ever.
“Those are the facts,” reports Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate COO Steven Hebert. “The numbers are in, and the sales have been closed. The only mystery remaining is why.”
Hebert deduces that a lull between 2007 and 2011 created a “pent-up demand that was unleashed in 2012.” The truth that the economy around here didn’t suffer the incredible lows many saw nationally created a group of buyers with money saved as they waited to see how the economy would fluctuate. When the national economic outlook began to improve and confidence was restored in much of the area’s bread and butter oil and gas industry, homebuyers struck.
“This confidence in the local economy, combined with pent-up demand and incredibly favorable real estate fundamentals, all came together to create the record activity in 2012,” notes Hebert.
While there’s certainly no complaining among Lafayette’s Realtors (or buyers for that matter), the reality is that without a clear cut reason for this influx, it’s hard to tell when and how the pendulum could swing in another direction.
If there is a murky area in the why of the overall numbers, the breakdown showing a 37 percent increase in new construction is crystal clear. Builders are offering great prices and luxe features in homes never before seen.
According to Hebert, large-volume builders offer low prices and prepackaged financing while local builders compete in a “feature war.”
Think outdoor kitchens and lavish bathrooms with walk-in showers at a price point under $250,000.
It’s all added up to a buyers’ market. But that could be changing.
“Looking ahead to 2013, there is already upward pressure on prices, and I would expect a full transition from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market sometime this year,” Hebert reports.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
JUL 24 This post on the Red Stick Blog reveals nine facts about Mike the Tiger, the LSU mascot who turns nine this week. That's interesting and all, but the best part of the post is the video of Mike playing around with a visitor, just like any other kitty. A massive, deadly, 400-pound, roaring kitty.
JUL 24 DIG Baton Rouge tells us about a local chef who makes an appearance on one of the Food Network's inexplicably stupid competition shows, Cutthroat Kitchen. The chef, who also appeared on Master Chef, talks here about Cajun and Creole cuisine and its place in American food.
JUL 24 Political consultants who switched candidates in midstream to work with Jindal buddy Garret Graves on his Congressional campaign are being sued by their former employer, the Picayune tells us in this post. Among the allegations? The firm started working for Graves before they left his opponent's campaign.
JUL 24 The recent articles about a study that found America's happiest cities are here in Louisiana have produced some raised eyebrows among those who have actually been to Shreveport and Baton Rouge. But the Today show did some research, and produced this article which talks about stuff that doesn't really represent those two cities. Are we still going with the drunk, fat and stupid brand?
JUL 24 Here's a story on Huffington Post that explores the connection between Gov. Bobby Jindal and the charter school business that sued him Tuesday over Common Core. The head of that business is recalling all the good stuff Bobby had to say about the curriculum - you know, back when it was cool to like it.
JUL 24 Blogger CB Forgotston has found another problem with the 11th hour bill that tacked $30K onto State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement check. The move was missing a financial assessment that's required by statute. This is a red flag that was missed, CB says. You think?
JUL 24 Blogger Mike Deshotels prints a statement from three BESE members who are supporting the legislators who are suing the governor over the Common Core mess. He adds his own personal comment, as well.
JUL 24 The Lens is hosting a panel discussion on the cost of coastal restoration, and who should pay for it, next month in NOLA. It is planned to be a discussion of the realities of the coastal restoration master plan and its current funding, as well as what the future holds.
JUL 23 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky is attempting to clear away some of the smoke that Bobby Jindal's been blowing about our economy. The press releases and "presidential campaign claims" of Jindal notwithstanding, the outlook is not that rosy, Sabludowsky says. He's got some comment here from the head of GNO Inc. as well.
JUL 23 This post on Mashable says Louisiana is poised to be the next (and better) Hollywood. Sure, blogger Travis Andrews is talking Louisiana in general, but the focus really is on New Orleans. And that's fine, because if NOLA and Hollywood get into a ambiance/food/style/crazy contest, we like NOLA's chances.
JUL 23 Here's New York Magazine's profile of Edwin Edwards, a well-written, thoughtful (and still unvarnished) look at Louisiana's most famous felon. There's a lot of history, but author Mark Jacobson doesn't get bogged down in pedantic rehashes here. It's a really good read.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly