Baton Rouge home sales fall 10% in March

    After a random spike in February, greater Baton Rouge home sales fell 10% in March, while inventory and days on market continued to climb, further evidence the region is inching ever closer to a buyer’s market.

    Inventory of homes on the market in March rose 8.2% from the same month last year and reached 4.7 months supply, up 9% from this time last year, according to monthly indicators compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors. Realtors typically view any reading of months supply above 6 months to be reflective of a buyer’s market.

    What’s more, homes remained on market for an average of 84 days, up 12% from last March.

    The 10% drop in sales equates to nearly 100 fewer homes sold in March 2019—884—compared to last March, which saw 982 homes sold. Meanwhile, average sale prices rose 3.6% to $227,854.

    “In addition to the quandary of ongoing housing price increases and affordability concerns in many U.S. markets, the first quarter of 2019 saw a fair share of adverse weather as well,” reads the GBRAR report. “Meanwhile, new listings and total homes for sale have been trending lower in year-over-year comparisons in many areas, and last year’s marks were already quite low.”

    New listings in the greater Baton Rouge area dropped 6.7% in March to 1,394, though total market inventory rose 8.2% to 4,195.

    Area home sales have been slipping since last summer, save for a brief hike in February when sales rose 6%. As detailed in a recent Business Report feature, the market is expected to shift in the direction of buyers—or at least balance out—this year as the supply of homes gradually rises and properties sit on the market for longer periods.

    The 2019 Trends in Real Estate report, released last week, also reports the Baton Rouge residential market’s “hotness score” has dropped significantly since last year, which local real estate experts chalk up to high supply.

    Through the first quarter of 2019, 3,935 homes have been sold in the Baton Rouge metro area, which is a 0.7% decline from year-to-date sales of 3,961 last year through March.

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