Home sales rose 24 percent in the eight-parish Baton Rouge area, with Realtors selling 650 homes in October compared to 525 that month last year.

Dollar volume rose 20 percent to $121.1 million, according to the figures compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors.

For the year, home sales are up 15 percent to 6,486 homes sold. Volume is up 12 percent to $1.24 billion.

Sandy Daly, of C.J. Brown, said she just returned from the National Association of Realtors convention, where the organization’s chief economist talked about improvements in residential real estate nationwide. While Baton Rouge never had as deep a slump as the national average and has been up all year, Daly said an improving national picture can only help the local market.

“If for nothing else, the housing news will change and it will be very positive,” she said, noting mortgage rates continue to be historically low.

The only potential blip on the radar, she noted, is the standoff over the federal budget.

“I think the outlook for residential real estate is quite rosy,” she said.

Daly noted falling inventory, which is down to 6.5 months of homes at the current sales rate compared to 9.3 months worth a year ago, is sign of a strengthening market and indicates real estate is still an attractive investment.

In the three major parishes within the local market:

East Baton Rouge Parish saw October home sales rise 26 percent to 363, with a dollar volume of $72.3 million. For the year, home sales are up 15 percent to 3,538 homes sold.

In Ascension Parish, home sales were down in October, falling slightly to 112 homes sold from 118 a year ago. Volume was $21.3 million. For the year, home sales in Ascension are up 13 percent to 1,246 home sold.

In Livingston Parish, October home sales were up 47 percent to 110 homes sold, with a dollar volume of $16.2 million. For the year, home sales in Livingston are up 13 percent at 1,093 homes sold.