Real estate recap: Louisiana home sales jump 17% in first quarter … Groundbreaking ceremony for LSU Olinde Career Center set for Thursday … April U.S. housing scorecard shows mixed outlook

Real estate recap: Louisiana home sales jump 17% in first quarter … Groundbreaking ceremony for LSU Olinde Career Center set for Thursday … April U.S. housing scorecard shows mixed outlook




A strong start: The number of homes sold throughout Louisiana in the first quarter of 2012 was up sharply from a year ago, according to the latest Louisiana Realtors Real Estate Trends Report. Residential sales jumped 17.2% compared to the same period in 2011, with total sales volume increasing 15.3%. The average sales price, however, dipped 1.6% from the first quarter of last year to $171,684. The average listed home stayed on the market just a little longer, too: 113 days, compared to 111 days last year. All eight of the state's metro areas posted an increase in home sales on the quarter. The Greater Baton Rouge area continued its strong upward sales trend with 17.5% more homes sold on the quarter and a 16.2% increase in total sales volume. Baton Rouge's average sales price of $190,499 was the highest in the state, though down 1.1% from the same period last year. You can see the complete first-quarter report here.



Going up: A groundbreaking ceremony for the new LSU Olinde Career Center, the future home of LSU Career Services, will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in the LSU Student Union's Live Oak Lounge on campus. The LSU Olinde Career Center will bring together Career Services' two current locations in a new state-of-the-art environment that LSU says is "better suited to prepare LSU students and alumni for their careers." Scheduled speakers include LSU Chancellor Mike Martin, LSU Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Enrollment Services Kurt Keppler, Director of LSU Career Services Mary Feduccia, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Stephen Moret, and LSU Student Body President Taylor Cox. For more information on the project, click here.



Incomplete: The April edition of the housing scorecard recently released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury shows some promising signs of stability, but the overall outlook remains mixed. Mortgage delinquencies have declined for four consecutive months and remain substantially below levels seen a year ago, and sales of existing homes in the first quarter were also 5.3% higher than a year ago. Data on home prices remains soft in many mortgage markets. The full report is available online here.

This week's poll question: When searching for a new home or apartment, what is the most important factor for you?



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