The reasons to live in Livingston Parish - good schools, good law enforcement, and cheap real estate - almost kept the market humming through the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But, May issued a dose of reality to the real estate world. In the fifth month of 2020, 158 detached, single-family homes sold in Livingston Parish - a drop of 41 from the previous year. While 158 homes still constitutes a healthy market, it remains under each yearly total from 2016-2018. 2015 was the last year wherein home sales were under 150 (138).
A statistic of concern, and perhaps a reflection of the current economic outlook with COVID-19, is the drop of almost $13,000 average home price, year-over-year. The difference between $211,000 in 2019 and $198,000 in 2020 accounted for over $11 million in reduced inventory sold - $42 million to $31 million.
The average days on market for homes sold in May was 54.
It's important to note that many homes that were 'sold' in May actually began the process in April. The experience of obtaining financing takes, on average, anywhere from two-four weeks once a home is 'pending.'
The slow-down marks the end of a trend wherein 2020 hoped to be better than 2019, which was by far the biggest real estate year in Livingston Parish. Through April of this year, 634 detached, single-family homes have sold in Livingston Parish, an increase of 79 from the 555 sold through the same time period in 2019. That was a difference in $131 million of inventory moved in 2020, as opposed to $108 million in 2019 - a $23 million difference.
Part of that difference wasn't just the volume of homes sold, but also average sold price which increased $14,000, per home, year-over-year from $193,000 to $207,000.
2,005 homes sold in the 2019 calendar year. Despite the Great Flood of 2016, rampant growth on roads, and some infrastructure issues, individuals and families continue to choose Livingston Parish as their place of residence.
The detached, single-family home metric doesn’t include residences sold by owner, mobile homes, or people who rent homes or apartments; the detached, single-family home measuring stick only tracks homes which were sold by agents via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), run through the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors (GBRAR).
And although it includes no other form of home purchase, the detached, single-family home number has increased since 2015, with but one dip. Here are those figures:
- 2015 – 1,754
- 2016 – 1,845
- 2017 – 1,933
- 2018 – 1,830
- 2019 – 2,005
Average home value, as a standard, continues to increase as well. At $203,861 average home price sold, the metric finally stayed above the $200,000 mark for the entire year, when considering all sales.
That equated to just over $408 million in total inventory for the year which, will all other home sale figures for Livingston Parish, is a new record.
Those numbers, broken down by month, are:
- January - 96
- February - 132
- March - 163
- April - 164
- May - 199
- June - 191
- July - 212
- August - 190
- September - 183
- October - 184
- November - 138
- December - 153
Approval from the parish entities shows that growth isn’t likely to stop, either. The parish’s planning commission showed that 7 subdivisions were approved in 2018, with 12 receiving approval in 2019. Those 7 subdivisions in 2018 account for 985 new lots according to preliminary plats, with the 12 subdivisions in 2019 adding up to 1,833.
Through June of 2020, 84 homes have closed with 15 days to go. 191 homes sold in Livingston Parish in the sixth month of 2019.