Baton Rouge-area home sales plunged by 20 percent in October from the year before, the result of tough comparisons with the sales gains stoked by the August 2016 flood.
There were 830 homes sold in metro Baton Rouge during October, according to figures released Thursday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service. That compares with 1,038 MLS sales in the nine-parish region during October 2016.
The August 2016 flood dramatically increased the local demand for homes. Tens of thousands of people in the capital region sustained severe damage to their homes and some were forced to buy new residences. At the same time, investors and bargain hunters were buying flood-damaged properties at a discount and rebuilding them for lease or sale.
To put the numbers in context, in October 2015 the Realtors’ association said there were 802 MLS sales.
In East Baton Rouge Parish, which accounts for the largest segment of the local housing market, there were 441 MLS sales in October, a 25.1 percent drop from the 589 sales a year ago.
Livingston Parish, which was hardest hit by the flood, saw sales plunge even further, 23.7 percent to 148 from 194.
Ascension Parish saw a 2 percent drop from 150 MLS sales in October 2016 to 147.
The median sale price for a home areawide was $199,000 in October, up from the $187,000 median sale price a year earlier. That means that half of the homes sold in the market went for below that price, half for above that price.
Pending sales were down 10 percent to 909 from 1,010. New listings were down 8.2 percent to 1,115 from 1,214.
The number of homes for sale were up 6.5 percent to 3,544 from 3,327. The supply of houses for sale rose slightly from 3.7 months to 3.8 months. The number of days on the market dropped from 61 in October 2016 to 56.
Year-to-date, there were 9,475 homes sold in metro Baton Rouge, a 6.7 percent increase over the 8,881 sales through October 2016. The median sale price was $189,353, down 0.3 percent from the year before.
Sales are up 12.9 percent to 1,772 in Livingston, 5.5 percent to 5,169 in East Baton Rouge and 2.2 percent to 1,639 in Ascension through the first 10 months of the year.