Home sales in the Baton Rouge area were up 28 percent in September, just enough to lift the first three quarters of 2011 higher than the same period in 2010.
September marked the third straight month in which 2011 figures for the eight-parish area fared well in relation to a post-tax credit lull during the second half of last year.
According to figures compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, agents sold 614 homes in metro Baton Rouge compared to 480 in September 2010.
That pushed sales to 5,087 homes so far this year, 19 more than were sold during the first nine months of 2010.
Year-to-date figures had been down all year, but that reflected a sharp decline from sales the first half of 2010 that were boosted by a federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers.
A lull followed the tax credit’s expiration last year, making 2011 numbers for the last three months look better.
Dollar volume, however, will need another month to surpass last year; it was still down 0.4 percent at $977.6 million through the first nine months of this year.
Sandy Daly, broker and manager of C.J. Brown Realtors’ Sherwood office, said C.J. Brown’s business has been up at least 20 percent in recent months.
While selling a home still requires more patience than it did in hotter markets several years ago, Daly said properly priced homes will sell.
“A well-priced, great-condition, super-location home — those properties are selling,” she said. “Those that have not priced their home to today’s market are having longer market times … their homes are not selling.”
Daly said buyers don’t want to overpay.
“They’ve heard all the horror stories of people getting caught having overpaid and these buyers do not want to experience that,” she said. “They’re very educated buyers.”
Taking a closer look at the numbers for September:
• In East Baton Rouge Parish, Realtors sold 302 homes, up 13 percent from 268. Dollar volume rose 9 percent to $59.0 million.
For the year, East Baton Rouge is down 1 percent to 2,770 homes sold and down 1 percent to $566.6 million in dollar volume.
• In Ascension, Realtors sold 127 homes in September, up 65 percent from 77, while dollar volume rose 62 percent to $24.9 million.
For the year, Ascension is flat at 984 homes sold and $197.1 million in dollar volume.
• In Livingston, Realtors sold 131 homes, up about a third from 99, and dollar volume rose 19 percent to $19.2 million.
For the year, Livingston is down 2 percent at 888 homes sold and down 7 percent to $136.2 million in dollar volume.
• The “other” parishes category, made up of West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee, was up 50 percent — 54 homes sold compared to 36 — and volume was up 54 percent to $9.2 million.
For the year, the “other” category is up 19 percent to 445 in homes sold and up 21 percent to $77.7 million in dollar volume.