Sold Home For Sale Sign and New House

The number of homes sold in metro Baton Rouge dropped by 1% in August, compared to the year before, continuing a three-month string of declining year-to-year activity.

There were 1,010 homes sold in the nine-parish region during August, according to figures released Monday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. That compares to 1,020 MLS sales in August 2018.

A drop in sales in East Baton Rouge Parish, which accounts for the biggest share of MLS activity, caused the year-to-year decline. There were 533 homes sold in the parish during August, an 8.6% drop from the 583 sales in August 2018.

Livingston Parish had the biggest increase, with a 17.3% gain in sales to 197 from 168. Ascension Parish had a 2.8% increase to 182 from 177.

Home prices continued to go up. The median sale price for a house in metro Baton Rouge was $207,500 in August, up 3.8% from $199,900 in August 2018. That means half the houses in the market sold for below that price, half for above that price.

The average sale price rose by 2.7% to $237,398 from $231,149 in August 2018. The average sale price can be affected by luxury home sales.

Local real estate experts have said home sales are being crimped because of rising housing prices, despite a drop in interest rates.

The number of days a home was on the market before it was sold went from 60 in August 2018 to 69 last month.

Pending sales, a sign of future activity, were up 11.3% in August to 1,032 from 927 a year earlier. New listings were up 0.8% to 1,445 from 1,433.

The number of homes for sale was up 1.9% to 4,541 from 4,457. That works out to a 5-month supply of houses, the same as a year earlier. Six months is considered a balanced market supply.

Through the first eight months of the year, the number of homes sold in the metro area was down 0.2% to 7,498 from 7,514. Year-to-date sales dropped 2.6% in East Baton Rouge to 3,940 from 4,044. But Livingston had a 3.7% gain to 1,441 MLS sales from 1,389. Ascension had a 2.3% gain to 1,387 from 1,356.

Email Timothy Boone at tboone@theadvocate.com.