Lafayette’s real estate market slipped last month for the first time this year, with home sales dropping 12 percent from July to August, according to figures released Wednesday.
Despite the dip, home sales for the first eight months of the year are still ahead of the same period in 2014, but last month’s numbers show the local market might have trouble sustaining strong momentum in a battered oil patch.
Homes sales in Lafayette Parish fell from 367 in July to 324 in August, according to a report by Van Eaton & Romero CEO Bill Bacqué using figures from the Realtor Association of Acadiana.
“Cumulatively, we are still ahead of last year,” Bacqué said. “To tell the truth, I’m surprised. I would have thought we would have seen something more meaningful relative to the oil situation than we have seen in housing.”
Year-to-date home sales for 2015 were at 2,311, compared with 2,167 last year, according to Bacqué’s report.
Bacqué said the resilience of the real estate market amid turmoil in the oil industry is a testament to the diversification in the parish since the 1980s when Lafayette’s economy tanked after oil prices plunged.
He said the local real estate market still appears healthy: There is no glut of homes on the market, demand is robust for most price categories and the median sales price has actually risen from $190,500 for the first eight months of 2014 to $199,900 for the same period this year,which is a 5 percent increase.
The average number of days a home stays on the market is down to 84 so far this year compared with an average of 90 days for the first eight months of 2014, according to the report.