Baton Rouge area home sales see 10% increase in June from year ago, snapping 2-month decline _lowres


The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge rose 10.6 percent in June from a year ago, snapping a two-month streak in which home sales declined.

There were 994 homes sold in June in the nine-parish area, according to figures released Thursday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. That compares with 899 MLS sales in June 2014.

Livingston Parish had the biggest increase in home sales, jumping 16.4 percent in June to 192 MLS transactions from 165 sales in 2014.

East Baton Rouge Parish, which makes up the largest share of MLS sales, had a 12.3 percent increase in sales. There were 547 sales in June, compared with 487 in June 2014.

Ascension Parish, which has been hampered by a lack of inventory, saw a 7.8 percent increase in home sales. There were 180 homes sold in the parish last month, compared with 167 in June 2014.

The median home sales price in the area rose by 2.7 percent in June to $190,000 from $185,000 — meaning half the houses sold for more and half for less than that price.

The number of pending sales, a sign of future activity, increased by 6 percent from 904 to 958.

The number of homes for sale dropped by 14.2 percent from 4,299 in June 2014 to 3,690. New listings were down 1.2 percent to 1,323 in June compared with 1,339 in June 2014.

The supply in months was 4.6 based on the current rate of sales, compared with 5.9 percent in June 2014. Six months is considered an ample supply.

The number of days a house stayed on the market dropped from 81 to 80 in metro Baton Rouge. However, the number of days on the market in East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston actually rose.

Saiward Pharr Hromadka, a spokeswoman for the Realtor’s association, said there were three houses that sold in June after being on the market for more than three years. One of the properties was the Highland Road estate owned by local philanthropist Paula Pennington de la Bretonne that sold for $6 million after being on the market since October 2012. That greatly skewed the June numbers.

“This is likely a testament to the shrinking inventory levels,” Hromadka said. “Fewer homes total for sale means that folks are taking second looks at things they previously passed over.”

Through the first half of 2015, there were 4,647 home sales in the metro area, compared with 4,413 through June 2014, a 5.3 percent increase. Sales rose 11.6 percent in Livingston, from 784 to 875. East Baton Rouge has had a 7.8 percent increase in home sales during the first half of 2015, going up from 2,343 to 2,526. And the lack of inventory has led to a modest drop in Ascension, going from 846 home sales through June 2014 to 844 this year.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.