B.R. home sales up 16% in November

Strong November home sales in the eight-parish region tracked by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors have already placed year-to-date 2012 home sales ahead of total sales in 2011, with another month of sales still to report this year. GBRAR reports 566 homes were sold in November in East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Iberville and Point Coupee parishes. That’s 80 more home sales than were tallied in the region in November 2011, or an increase of about 16%. The average sale price in November, at $206,249, was also considerably higher than that of the same month last year, when the average home sold for $173,096. Through November, 7,064 homes have been sold in the Capital Region this year, which is roughly 15% more than the 6,122 sold through the same 11-month period last year—and exceeds the 6,604 homes sold in all of 2011. The 11-month total this year is also already ahead of annual sales totals in 2010 (6,386) and 2009 (6,899). And unless December sales this year are far below the 482 recorded last December, 2012 should end up being a stronger year than 2008, when 7,284 homes were sold and the area began seeing impacts from the national recession. Total months inventory—or the number of months it would take to sell all homes on the market at the current sales pace—was also down sharply in November compared to last year. Although the months inventory rose to 7.3 in November from 6.5 in October, it is still well below the 10 months inventory recorded in November 2011.

Read more from Business Report here: http://businessreport.com/daily-report/12172012/Baton_Rouge_home_sales_up_16_percent_in_November#ixzz2FKaZsNNe

Baton Rouge home sales soar 25% in May

From the Baton Rouge Business Report:

In a continuation of a trend seen every month this year, home sales in the eight-parish region tracked by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors were once again significantly better in May compared to the same month last year. The 729 home sales recorded in May by GBRAR as of this morning represent a 24.6% increase over the 585 sold in May 2011. While the sales increase may have been expected in light of similar monthly gains seen so far in 2012, an increase in the average sales price in May will likely come as a pleasant surprise to area realtors. At $197,683, the average home sale in May this year was just shy of 1% better than the $195,885 average sales price in May 2011—and 5% better than the average sales price in April. The monthly average home sale price has consistently been about 5% lower this year compared to 2011. Through May, year-to-date home sales in the Capital Region stand at 2,949. That’s 19.9% better than the 2,458 sold through May of last year, 1% better than the 2,918 sold in 2010, and 12.8% better than the 2,614 sold in 2009. A total of 3,309 sales were recorded through May in 2008, which is about 12.2% more than this year. East Baton Rouge Parish led the May sales increase, with 424 sales—95 more than in May 2011, or a 28.8% increase.

Pending, closed home sales in B.R. continue steady rise

From the Baton Rouge Business Report:

While the National Association of Realtors reports pending sales across the United States stumbled for the first time this year during April—with its index off 5% compared to March, though up 14% over April 2011—the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors says 39% more sales were inked in the eight-parish region in April on the year. GBRAR President Linda Gaspard says it’s “more evidence that the Greater Baton Rouge area housing market continues to strengthen. Area realtors are seeing the increase in business, and it’s very exciting to know this market is performing so well.” One-third of the way through the year, 2012 sales were at 2,219, up 18.5% over the 1,873 sales recorded through April last year, according to GBRAR. That’s also slightly better than the 2,128 homes sold through April in 2010 and the 2,003 sold in 2009. The 2,535 home sales in 2008 are 12.5% better than this year’s figures through April. Though last month’s final figures were not yet available as of press time, May is looking to have been another strong month in the Baton Rouge area. Early reports from GBRAR show sales up nearly 15% over the 585 sales on the month last year, and that number is likely to climb when the final tally is in. The GBRAR notes that all the statistics indicate increases in pending and closed sales will continue in coming months. The 39% increase in pending sales during April is particularly promising, as home sales are typically closed a month or two after they’re signed, meaning monthly sales figures should continue to be positive into the summer. —Steve Sanoski

Home sales in Baton Rouge up 21% in April

From the Baton Rouge Business Report

With 616 sales recorded as of this morning, 20.8% more homes were sold in April across the eight-parish region tracked by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors compared to the same month a year ago, GBRAR reports. Last April, a total of 510 home sales were recorded. East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston and the five other parishes lumped into GBRAR’s “other” statistical category—West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East Feliciana, West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes—all posted year-over-year sales increases. The average sales price, however, continued a downward year-over-year trend in April, decreasing about 4.3% to $188,441, compared to $196,877 in April 2011. Nonetheless, the increase in overall sales pushed total volume up 15.5% to $409.9 million on the month. A strong April builds on first-quarter figures in 2012 that were the best since 2008. Year-to-date, total sales now stand at 2,213, up 18.2% over the 1,873 sales recorded through April last year. For historical comparison, 2,128 homes were sold through April in 2010, while 2,003 were sold over the four-month period in 2009 and 2,535 in the same period of 2008. You can check out the complete sales report from GBRAR here

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

From the Baton Rouge Business Report

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.
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U.S. new home sales plunge after credits expire

Sales of new homes collapsed in May, sinking 33% to the lowest level on record, as potential buyers stopped shopping for homes once they could no longer receive a government tax credit. The bleak report from the Commerce Department is the first sign of how the end of short-term federal tax credits could weigh on the nation’s housing market. The credits expired April 30. That’s when a new homebuyer would have had to sign a contract to qualify. “We fear that the appetite to buy a home has disappeared alongside the tax credit,” says Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics. “After all, unemployment remains high, job security is low and credit conditions are tight.”

New home sales in May fell from April to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 300,000, the government says. That was the slowest sales pace on records dating back to 1963. And it’s the largest monthly drop on record. Sales have now sunk 78% from their peak in July 2005. Analysts were startled by the depth of the sales drop. “We all knew there would be a housing hangover from the expiration of the tax credit,” says Mike Larson, real estate and interest rate analyst at Weiss Research. “But this decline takes your breath away.” Sales in the South dropped 25%.

Capital Region home sales up 18% in April

From Baton Rouge Business Report

The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge in April was up nearly 18% from the year before, as first-time homebuyers flocked to cash in on a tax credit for buying properties. There were 691 houses sold in April, according to figures from the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, compared with 586 MLS sales in April 2009. And despite an increase in first-time buyers, the average sale price was also higher than the year before, from $185,641 to $192,974. Livingston Parish saw the biggest sales gain, jumping up by 67%, from 83 sales to 139. The average sale price in Livingston was slightly lower, dropping from $171,237 to $169,038. Ascension Parish home sales increased from 114 in April 2009 to 124, while the city-parish had the highest average sale price at $217,216, a 7% increase from the year before. East Baton Rouge had the highest sales volume, at 383 MLS deals, compared with 352 from April 2009. The average sale price was $198,061, compared with $182,540. The other category, which includes MLS sales in parishes such as West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and the Felicianas, saw a gain from 37 sales in 2009 to 45 last month; the average sale price dropped to $156,813 from $193,002. Local Realtors say the Capital Region’s market has rebounded to post-Katrina levels. Through the first four months of the year, home sales are running ahead of 2009, with 2,100 MLS transactions taking place, compared with 2,017 the year before. The average sale price was also up slightly, from $191,015 in 2009 to $192,602. —Timothy Boone

B.R. delinquency, foreclosure rates still below average

From Baton Rouge Business Report

The percentage of Baton Rouge homeowners falling behind on their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure continued to rise in March, but still at a slower rate than the state and national averages. The percentage of local homeowners who were more than three months behind on their mortgages was 6.64% in March, according to Core Logic, compared with a 4.21% delinquency rate in March 2009. During that time, the percentage of Louisiana homeowners more than three months behind on their mortgages rose from 4.76% to 7.36%, while the U.S. average delinquency rate was 8.93% in March, compared with 5.79% in March 2009. The local foreclosure rate was 2.27% in March, compared with 1.38% in March 2009. That’s below the state average of 2.53% and the national rate of 3.23%. Core Logic gets its data from public sources, including property and tax records and appraisals.

March home sales in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas

Sales By Area
Criteria: Status: S, Category: RESIDENTIAL
Statistics for Entire Mls from 3/1/2010 to 4/1/2010
Area # of Sales Total Sales Avg Sales Median Sales
11 EBR MLS AREA 11 35 $5,648,977 $161,399 $142,000
21 EBR MLS AREA 21 9 $1,132,000 $125,777 $132,000
22 EBR MLS AREA 22 16 $1,682,750 $105,171 $85,750
31 EBR MLS AREA 31 10 $360,930 $36,093 $35,250
41 EBR MLS AREA 41 19 $2,257,900 $118,836 $134,900
42 EBR MLS AREA 42 33 $5,213,350 $157,980 $155,000
43 EBR MLS AREA 43 60 $12,331,700 $205,528 $189,150
50 EBR MLS AREA 50 2 $240,000 $120,000 $120,000
51 EBR MLS AREA 51 9 $2,136,380 $237,375 $192,500
52 EBR MLS AREA 52 29 $9,439,120 $325,486 $252,000
53 EBR MLS AREA 53 56 $16,710,125 $298,395 $245,500
61 EBR MLS AREA 61 18 $4,413,750 $245,208 $180,000
62 EBR MLS AREA 62 15 $3,378,300 $225,220 $225,000
70 WBR MLS AREA 70 10 $1,833,200 $183,320 $181,500
72 IBR MLS AREA 72 2 $596,000 $298,000 $298,000
73 IBR MLS AREA 73 4 $549,960 $137,490 $133,930
74 PC MLS AREA 74 12 $2,784,900 $232,075 $197,000
80 LIV MLS AREA 80 8 $1,057,600 $132,200 $130,000
81 LIV MLS AREA 81 36 $5,412,850 $150,356 $144,900
82 LIV MLS AREA 82 16 $2,553,000 $159,562 $162,400
83 LIV MLS AREA 83 27 $4,459,920 $165,182 $145,920
85 TNG MLS AREA 85 1 $115,000 $115,000 $115,000
86 TNG MLS AREA 86 1 $175,000 $175,000 $175,000
90 ASC MLS AREA 90 89 $19,835,379 $222,869 $182,900
91 ASC MLS AREA 91 36 $6,005,079 $166,807 $177,400
92 ASC MLS AREA 92 11 $2,907,800 $264,345 $286,000
93 EFL MLS AREA 93 8 $1,580,545 $197,568 $111,950
94 WFL MLS AREA 94 2 $450,000 $225,000 $225,000
95 OTH MLS AREA 95 (OTHER) 1 $57,000 $57,000 $57,000
TOTALS 575 $115,318,515 $200,553 $174,500

Sites for upper elementary, middle school

From Baton Rouge Business Report

Central Community School officials have purchased two tracts of land off Sullivan Road for $2.45 million. The sites, which total 84 acres, are between Hooper and Joor roads, says Brian Kidwell, director of business for the school system. Design work for the new upper elementary and middle school has already started; Kidwell says the plan is to have the facilities open by the start of the 2011-12 school year.