A sign advertises new homes for sale near I-49 Friday, December 4, 2020, just south of Carencro, La.

This is starting to seem like a new normal in the real estate market in Acadiana: rising property values, monthly sales total setting records and lots of homes trading hands.

Sales in the region and in Lafayette Parish each hit record levels in June as the market hit a halfway point in a year that, much like other markets around the state and county, that has records fall so often it doesn’t get near the headlines as in years past.

Thanks for still historically low interest rates and a growing inventory level that is no match for the buyers out there, the market will likely continue this pace for the coming months.

Compared to a year ago, when the market was just starting to take off at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, home sales are up 34.6% in the region and 40% in Lafayette Parish, according to data compiled by Bill Bacque with Market Scope Consulting.

The median sale price – the middle point of all homes sold – is up 12.5% in the region and 11% in Lafayette Parish.

“Are we entering a new normal of nothing but records on the horizon? For the time being, I would say yes,” Bacque wrote in his monthly report. “As we progress through the record-setting pace set last year in the third quarter, the gap between this year and last year should narrow but not dramatically. I still believe that interest rates are the key to what level of demand we will experience.”

This new normal will sometimes involve potential buyers bidding over the sale price for a home or several offers coming in on a property not long after it’s hit the market.

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It can lead to hurt feelings on the part of the buyer and the seller, said real estate agent Michael Carr with Dream Home Realty. Properties go so fast it’s hard for agents working with a buyer to keep, and those representing a seller often have to wade through multiple offers.

“The intensity is definitely up, I would say,” Carr said. “If you’re really in this, there’s no time off. If you’re really trying to do your clients good services, you have to monitor the market continuously. You have to be ready to react on their behalf at all times. The (comparison properties) go up so fast you have to be on point with your listing prices. You can’t rely on something from months ago.”

Inventory remains an issue for the region, even with the number of new listings hitting the market and home construction up from a year ago. In Lafayette Parish new listings for June were up 12% overall, with existing home new listings up over 5% while new construction listings increased by 33%.

What’s happening? Homes are selling in nearly half the time this year (55 days) than a year ago (91 days).

“The last listing I put out last weekend was 15 offers in one day,” Carr said. “It’s still competitive. Very quick reaction on the buyer’s side. We have to be ready to keep the pedal to the floor. Our biggest issue is inventory. We broke 1,000 (available properties) — we were in the 900s for quite a while. A year ago you had 2,400-2,600.”

Other data from Bacque’s quarterly report indicated:

  • Markets in the southern section of Lafayette Parish remain strong with the area east of Johnston Street, south of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and west of U.S. 90 accounting for nearly half of all homes sold.
  • Construction hot spots continue to be north and south Youngsville and east Carencro. Nearly 1 of every 3 homes built have come in those areas.
  • St. Landry Parish had the biggest bump in activity outside of Lafayette Parish with 305 homes sold, up from 48% from a year ago.

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