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The Advocate file photo -- 'For Sale' sign outside flooded house.

The August floods caused Baton Rouge-area home sales to drop by 23 percent when compared to the year before.

According to figures released by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service, there were 727 homes sold in August in the nine-parish area. That compares with 949 MLS sales in August 2015.

The figures are in line with preliminary numbers released in early September by the association, showing 666 MLS sales. At that time, Saiward Hromadka, a spokeswoman for the association, said the disruption by the flooding was causing delays in getting some sales processed.

The drop in sales happened at a time when pending sales increased by nearly 5 percent, going from 877 in August 2015 to 919. That shows many closings were delayed, probably because potential homebuyers, potential sellers, title companies, lenders, real estate agents and other people involved in the transaction had to deal with flooding.

Livingston Parish, which was hardest hit by the mid-August flood, understandably was the housing market most affected. There were 117 MLS sales in the parish during August, a 34 percent drop from the 178 sales in August 2015.

Ascension Parish had a 21 percent drop in MLS sales in August, going from 170 in 2015 to 135. East Baton Rouge MLS sales fell 19 percent from 513 to 414.

Despite the drop in sales, median home prices rose in August to $191,250, a 3.4 percent increase over the $185,000 median price in August 2015. Median means half the homes sold for more than that amount and half for less. 

New listings were down by 2.8 percent in August, going from 1,123 to 1,092. That could be a reflection of flood-damaged homes being pulled off the market or it could be a result of Realtors not having internet access to add listings, Hromadka said. The number of days a home was on the market went from 65 to 69.

The number of homes for sale dropped by 16 percent from 3,882 to 3,244. That translated to a decrease in monthly supply, from 4.8 months to 3.8 months.

Year-to-date, there were 6,804 homes sold in metro Baton Rouge, a 1.8 percent increase over the 6,682 sales through August 2015. The median sale price was $190,000, up 1.1 percent from the year before.

Sales are up 4.3 percent to 1,261 in Ascension, 2.5 percent to 3,739 in East Baton Rouge and down 3.6 percent to 1,198 in Livingston through the first eight months of the year.


Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.