Homes for Sale: Local real estate prices generally steady

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April 7, 2015
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April 7, 2015
Meet DoBee Plaisance:
April 7, 2015
What’s the ultimate financial goal?
April 7, 2015

Homes in the Houma-Thibodaux area are selling at higher prices despite weakened economic activity in the area attributed to low oil prices.

And local realtors – generally – agree that the local real estate market, while not without its issues, is generally optimistic.

Cynthia Pellegrin, President of the Bayou Board of Realtors, says that inventory of homes for sale is up a little bit, but still low.

Pellegrin said she expected the real estate market to be suffering due to low oil prices, but can’t explain why it isn’t.

“I don’t see that happening,” Pellegrin said. “I don’t know why we’re not seeing that. I guess there’s still that many people in the buying mode.”

Pellegrin said one home that sat on the market for years because flood insurance coverage was too expensive for most buyers is closing this week.

Pellegrin said that the current median existing-home price for the Houma-Thibodaux area is $161,450. That is up 3.81 percent from last year, in which the median existing-home price for the year was $155,300.

The national median existing-home price in 2014 was $208,500, according to a report issued by the Louisiana Realtors Association.

“We are beginning to see more inventory, said Kelly Guidry, Realtor at Keller-Williams Acadiana. “That could mean more of a shift to a buyer’s market.”

Pellegrin said that she doesn’t see that happening right now. She said that home prices are going up and no sellers are getting their full asking price right now.

Travis Griffin, owner of Coldwell Banker South Coast, a real estate services firm, said he expects to see home prices drop sporadically over the next few months by a few thousand dollars.

Griffin said the factors relating to this would include inventory of homes for sale, and a slight increase in foreclosures which could be related to local oil job layoffs and reduced income.

Pellegrin said home builders can’t build new homes fast enough to keep up with demand right now. New homes are selling for asking prices every time, Pellegrin said, indicating that there are more new home buyers than there are new homes.

Pellegrin said that most of the sales right now are to first-time home buyers and people looking for an upgrade.

Local buying habits may also be keeping inventory from creeping upwards as well.

“Right now I’m doing a number of what I call ‘dominos,’” Pellegrin said. “[That’s] where I have to sell a house for them to buy a house.”

Homes are selling for higher prices compared to last year, despite the area’s economic slowdown