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.
OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
OCT 1 Looks like hoards of whining college students and (extremely unflattering) satire can make a difference: The Advocate reports here that lease talks have reopened for Highland Coffees, a coffee shop near the north gates of LSU. Earlier this week, dismay was unleashed when the paper reported that the shop would be closing because its landlord had other plans for the space.
OCT 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels is outlining the flaws he sees in the so-called "Value Added Model" of teacher evaluation. It basically seeks to pay teachers according to how their students do on tests. (Sure hope they don't start using that model for doctors!) He's got a lot of information here, not just about the plan but about the people involved - and their history.
OCT 1 Columnist Jim Beam breaks down the difference between ISIS and ISIL, along with origins of each group and what has been reported about them over the years. It's a good clear primer if you're one of those continually confused by the names being thrown around.
OCT 1 Blogger Tom Aswell brings us up to date on the latest mess surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, which handles health insurance for state employees. It ain't pretty, and it has left Tom pleading for anyone who might be remotely competent in the Division of Administration to get in touch with him.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
SEP 30 Here's another story that makes Louisiana look backward; blogger Manny Schewitz writes about a church that won't allow AA to use its facilities because those boozers might track in some gay. Every time he sees one of these, as he calls them "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" type of stories, he always starts wishing: "Please don't let it be Louisiana... Please don't let it be Louisiana..."
SEP 30 This post on PoliticusUSA, an extremely liberal blog, takes aim at Bobby Jindal's disingenuous attempts to play both sides against the middle on the evolution/creationism issue. Jindal is "dutifully serving his Koch masters" on the climate change issue as well, blogger Rmuse writes.
SEP 30 Ever wonder what goes on in a football locker room following a game like Sunday's embarrassment? Here's a post on ESPN about the "reality check" the Saints had. Among the comments: "Right now we're not a very good football team."
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly