Baton Rouge area home sales fall 4% in April

The month that traditionally kicks off the strongest season for home sales was a so-so one this year in the Baton Rouge area.

According to the latest monthly sales report, released today, from the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, sales in the eight-parish region it tracks were down 4% in April compared to sales in April 2014. A total of 776 homes were sold last month, compared to 808 in April 2014.

The regional decline was driven by steep sales decreases in Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes, the report shows. Sales in the former were off 10.7%, with 133 sales in April, down from 149 the year previous. In East Baton Rouge Parish, a total of 409 sales were recorded, down 4.9% from the 430 sold in April last year.

Despite the year-over-year decrease, GBRAR notes that sales were up 1.3% in April from the total recorded in March.

“It’s also worth noting that March 2015’s 14.7% increase in closed sales helped clear out the sales pipeline and to push down available inventory,” GBRAR says in prepared remarks accompanying the report. “The Easter holiday in the first week of April also contributed to the year-over-year decrease; the Easter Bunny delivered eggs a little prematurely.”

Livingston Parish, meanwhile, posted an increase in sales last month. The 159 homes sold there represented a 6% increase over the 150 sales recorded in April last year.

Even with the decrease in April, year-to-date sales this year were 5.2% better than in the like period last year. During the first four months of this year, 2,730 homes were sold in the eight-parish region, compared to 2,596 sales last year through April.

Other data from the GBRAR report—which includes data from East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Iberville and Pointe Coupee parishes—show:

  • The average sales price is rising. At $223,000, the average sales price was 11% higher than the $200,839 average recorded last April.
  • Supply is tightening. There were 3,537 homes for sale in the region in April, or 16.2% fewer than the 4,223 on the market during April last year.
  • Pending sales remain strong. A total of 972 sales were pending in April, a 7.4% increase over the 905 pending deals recorded last April
  • The region remains a seller’s market. The measure of months supply—or how long it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at the current sales pace—was at 4.4 months in April. Realtors typically regard any measure below six months to be indicative of a seller’s market. The months supply measure last April was 5.9 months.

Access the complete monthly sales report from GBRAR.

—Steve Sanoski

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