Baton Rouge Area Home Sales Drop Nearly 8 Percent In May

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge dropped 7.6 percent in May from a year ago, a decline that real estate experts are blaming on tight inventory.

         There were 848 homes sold in May in the nine-parish area. That's according to figures released Monday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service. That compares with 918 sales in May 2014.

         The Advocate’s Timothy Boone reports this is the second month in a row that home sales have dropped. The Realtors' association said Monday that this also was the second month in a row that inventory levels dropped significantly year-to-year.

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         The two-month drop-off wasn't enough to dampen gains scored during January through March.

         Through the first five months of the year, there were 3,613 home sales in the metro area, compared with 3,514 through May 2014, a 2.8 percent increase.

         East Baton Rouge Parish, which makes up the largest percentage of MLS sales, actually saw a minor increase in activity in May. There were 503 home sales in East Baton Rouge in May, compared with 502 the year before.

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         Ascension Parish, which has been hampered by a lack of inventory, saw the biggest drop in home sales, with a 13.8 percent plunge. There were 144 homes sold in the parish last month, compared with 167 sales in May 2014.

         Livingston Parish had a 12 percent drop in sales during May from 158 sales in 2014 to 139 MLS transactions.

         Despite the drop in sales, the local housing market remains strong, with prices rising and more pending sales though the inventory continues to tighten.

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