Capital Region 2012 home sales on pace to match ’08 figures

From the Baton Rouge Business Report, Real Estate Weekly:

Three-quarters of the way through the year, homes sales in the eight-parish  region tracked by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors are far  outpacing sales in 2011, 2010 and 2009—and are only 1.5% off the year-to-date  tally from the pre-recession 2008 sales figures. A total of 5,833 homes have  sold in the region through September. That’s a nearly 13% increase over the  5,174 sales recorded in the first three quarters of 2011, a 15% increase over  the 5,069 sold in 2010, and a roughly 11% increase over the 5,241 sold in 2009.  This year’s tally through the third quarter indicates just 86 fewer sales than  in 2008. GBRAR President-Elect Pat Wattam says she expects 2012 sales to match  or exceed 2008 levels when the year is over. “I saw the market turn the corner  last November, and what we’ve seen since is a steady continuation of that,” she  says. While sales figures are paramount, Wattam says she’s also keeping an eye  on another figure: the months of inventory for the eight-parish region. In  September, it dropped to 6.24 months. A year ago, that figure was at 7.69, and  it actually reached as high as 10 months around the start of 2012. Wattam says  declining months’ inventory is a clear sign of an improving market and that she  expects it will continue to fall. She says a healthy market is generally one  with about five to eight months of inventory. “With East Baton Rouge dropping  below the eight months supply point, that means we’re in a very, very steady  market. It’s not a buyer’s market, but it’s not a seller’s market either,” she  says. “And in Ascension Parish, that number just dropped to below six months.  That tells me it’s flipping to a seller’s market.” —Steve  Sanoski This week’s poll question: Do you  believe the Capital Region housing market has fully recovered from the  recession?

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