Despite summer lull, Baton Rouge home sales at midyear on par with 2018

    While Baton Rouge area home sales have been slower than usual this summer, the residential real estate market for the first six months of 2019 has been on par with last year in terms of total sales.

    And even though inventory of homes on the market continues to creep higher, pricing appears unaffected as the area’s median sales price also continues to climb, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ latest monthly report

    For the first half of 2019, a total of 5,372 homes were sold in the Baton Rouge area, compared to 5,369 sold in the first six months of 2018. Median sales price, meanwhile, rose 4.1% for the first half of the year to $205,000. 

    “The market is not much different from last year,” says Pat Wattam, an agent with RE/MAX First. “The first four months of the year was pretty darn good. It slowed down rather than speeding up in the spring and summer. It’s a good market, but a little sluggish.”

    Kyle Petersen, an agent with Keller Williams, has also seen something of a lull this summer but says if the pricing is right “everything is sellable,” especially in popular neighborhoods and new construction near good school zones. 

    Home sales for June alone were down 6.2% compared to the same month last year. Houses were also sitting on the market longer than they were this time last year, with days on market up nearly 30% in June to 75 days. Inventory, meanwhile, has steadily climbed each month this year, up 1.7% in June, with months supply of inventory rising 2% to 4.9 months, indicating a neutral market.

    “It’s a good market for both buyers and sellers,” Petersen says. “Interest rates have been very, very helpful.”

    And while selling a house for the right price is paramount, the condition of the house is just as important, Wattam says. 

    “It’s the HGTV syndrome with most buyers out there,” she says. “They want homes around $200,000 and in perfect condition.”

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