Metro area home sales fell 27 percent in May, according to figures compiled by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors.
Realtors sold 580 homes in May compared with 790 that month the year before, and dollar volume fell 25 percent to $114.0 million.
As they have for about a year, home sales fell in all three of the metro area’s major parishes.
Baton Rouge’s real estate market hasn’t suffered ill effects of the bursting of the housing bubble the way other markets have. But real estate agents have said low interest rates haven’t been enough to counter stagnant job growth, shaky consumer confidence and a market largely tapped out after a federal tax credit created a spurt of first-time homebuyers last year.
For the year, Realtors have sold 2,439 homes, 16 percent fewer than the 2,918 sold through the first five months of 2010. Dollar volume for this period is down 17 percent to $466.6 million.
The year-ago numbers represent the last few months of the tax credit program, which offered qualified first-time homebuyers up to $8,000 in tax credits and boosted sales of homes on the lower end of the market. The gap will likely narrow somewhat by late summer as the figures are compared to sales unaffected by the program.
Homes are staying on the market much longer. Current days on market for May was 147 days, compared with just 106 a year earlier. The metro area had 4,897 houses on the market at the end of May. That’s 8.4 months of inventory compared with 5.8 months a year ago.
Taking a closer look at the numbers for May:
? In East Baton Rouge Parish, Realtors sold 326 homes, down 27 percent from 444. Dollar volume fell 24 percent to $70.3 million.
For the year, East Baton Rouge is down 15 percent to 1,331 homes sold and down 15 percent to $272.8 million in dollar volume.
? In Ascension, Realtors sold 116 homes, down 27 percent from 159, while dollar volume fell 28 percent to $21.3 million.
For the year, Ascension is down 23 percent to 460 homes sold and down 24 percent to $90.7 million in dollar volume.
? In Livingston, Realtors sold 95 homes, down 32 percent from 139, and dollar volume fell 37 percent to $14.4 million.
For the year, Livingston is down 19 percent to 442 homes sold and down 22 percent to $67.2 million in dollar volume.
? The “other” parishes category, made up of West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee, was down 10 percent — 43 homes sold compared with 48 — but volume was up 8 percent to $8.2 million.
For the year, the “other” category is up — 206 homes compared with 199 — and up 6 percent to $35.9 million in dollar volume.