There are certain factors in the real estate market that have a simple cause and effect. Chief among them is rising interest rates. Yet, even as those interest rates rise (a full percentage point in May) Lafayette Parish’s home market remains exceptionally healthy. By mid-December the total dollar volume of home sales in the parish had skyrocketed to $642 million, compared with the previous record of $548 million in 2007. That’s a remarkable $100 million more in sales.
As far as Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate COO Steven Hebert is concerned, the lion’s share of influence on the local market is the oilfield.
“In South Louisiana we can deal with a few other adversities as long as oilfield employment is good and prospects are bright,” Hebert says. “A really good job and the anticipation of increased pay and more demand for your skills negates concerns over rising interest rates and rising home prices.”
Both numbers in Lafayette Parish are on the rise.
“Up about 6 percent,” Hebert says, noting an average sales price of $200,540 for homes in Lafayette Parish in December 2012 compared to today’s $212,411.
The other component driving future numbers — inventory. As the parish closed out 2013, inventory remained “moderate,” Hebert says, with just more than 400 new homes compared to 344 new homes on the market a year ago.
“I have to credit incredible demand combined with local lending restraint that has kept this number in check. The local home building market is in about the best shape I have ever seen it as we enter the New Year,” Hebert says.
Hebert also points out that 2013 was the first year that topped more than $200 million in sales of new homes. And the final numbers hadn’t yet been tallied when this story went to press.
“Combine this with the aforementioned moderate inventory and you would have to expect 2014 will be another really good year to be a home builder in Lafayette,” Hebert says.
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MAR 11 Two (allegedly) newsworthy things happened on Monday: Bobby Jindal laid out his plan for the legislative session, and Lil Boosie gave his first interview after being sprung from the joint. (Who's Lil Boosie, you say? Click here.) To celebrate these equally fascinating monologues, the Picayune posts this story asking you to determine which luminary uttered which pearl of wisdom.
MAR 11 Blogger Lamar White Jr. posts here about Katrina Jackson's bill which would mirror the Texas law that shut down abortion clinics. It also, according to Lamar's reading, would require the state to set up a database of patients who had been given the morning-after pill. Lamar then engaged in a Twitter conversation with Jackson, in which she said she'd have to look at the law again to be sure what it says. Huh?
MAR 11 Here's a link to Gambit's digital edition -- the Louweedsiana version. You can read about a new organization seeking to legalize marijuana in Louisiana, take a nostalgic look back to the days of Reefer Madness, even peruse a list of "high end" munchies.
MAR 11 Columnist John Maginnis writes here of Gov. Bobby Jindal's recent streak of meanness toward the President. Since it is having no effect on his national profile, and Bobby's not delusional (oh, OK - thanks for the update on that) Maginnis opines that Jindal is possibly auditioning to be someone's (anyone's?) vice president. Impressing higher-ups is one of Jindal's abilities, Maginnis reminds us.
MAR 11 Blogger Jason Berry gives us an update on the continuing activity connected to BP oil spill claims. For some time on the American Zombie blog, he's been keeping up with the "shenanigans" at a level not even contemplated by Louisiana's media. (You know, kind of like he did with Ray Nagin. So probably the Picayune will be taking credit for this in a couple years, too.) There are links to his previous posts, as well, so if you're curious this is a good place to start.
MAR 11 Blogger Ian McGibboney is sad to see them go, too. You know, the Saints veterans who got their walking papers recently. The team seems to be cutting everybody he ever heard of to keep a couple of top-dollar players who can't win a game alone, McGibboney says. And, he says what a lot of Saints fans are thinking -- it better be worth it!
MAR 11 Blogger CB Forgotston takes aim at another Jindal appointee in this post. This time, we're talking about the governor's "assistant director of constituent services" who also has been hired by the state Department of Children and Family as a "legislative liaison." If all reports are accurate, the guy's violating two laws, CB argues.
MAR 11 Given how hard some people fight for it, one would assume the priviledge of serving in Congress is a great gig. Not so, Bob Mann tells us in this post. When the longest-serving member recently announced his emminent departure, he was quoted as saying that serving in the House is "obnoxious." Someone might want to let the guys running for the District 6 seat know -- because they apparently haven't heard, Mann says.
MAR 10 Here's a post by Meredith King about the ongoing discussion in New Orleans about the carpetbaggers who want to sanitize the city. King, a native New Orleanian, makes an elegant point here about how complex New Orleans is, and how that very complexity is what so often escapes those hipsters who (among other things) live in the Bywater and call it "the ninth."
MAR 10 Blogger Tom Aswell is peeking under the skirt of the state dental board, and what he's seeing ain't pretty. In this post, which he says is the first of several, he touches on the board's power, some of its rules and where its funding comes from. This promises to be an interesting series.
MAR 10 Mr. Bill, the former star of Saturday Night Live, has thrown in his two cents on the Big Oil lawsuit. In this YouTube video, Mr. Bill tries to talk to the governor about it, and doesn't come out ahead. (But really, those can't be Bobby's shoes. Aswell says he wears lifts.) The creator of the clay figure, Walter Williams, is a NOLA resident.
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