Local real estate market thriving in spite of pandemic

The real estate market in St. Charles Parish remains favorable for both buyers and sellers, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The market is very active and strong right now,” Desiree Luquette, a realtor with Latter & Blum, said. “Interest rates are favorable for buyers, inventory is low and some homes are receiving multiple offers.”

Luquette said she has seen requests for showings increase recently and open houses are beginning to be held again.

“Many agents are wearing masks, opening doors and turning on lights to prevent contact,” she said. “Many homes that I have scheduled to show have responded that they are under contract and just waiting for the deposit to go through … this makes inventory even lower than what it appears.”

From May 1 to June 24 of this year, 59 properties have sold in the parish. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 200 homes have sold.

Those numbers are down slightly from last year. From May 1 to June 24 in 2019, 72 properties sold and from January 1 to June 24, 229 total homes sold.

The sale of higher end homes, however, has been completely unaffected by the pandemic. In the first half of 2019, there were 13 homes priced over $400,000 that sold. The first half of 2020 has seen 16 homes in the same price bracket sell.

“Now is a great time to sell or buy a home,” Luquette said.

Regina Allemand, a realtor with Gardner Realtors, said summers are usually filled with closings that come from an abundance of spring real estate buying. This year is different, however, since the spring of 2020 brought a pandemic and quarantine instead of the typical pop of new real estate listings.

“Summer of 2020 will be the year of pent up sellers and buyers,” she said. “Late summer and early fall will be the busier closing times and seeing homes going under contract.”

Allemand said the average price per square foot of homes selling in the parish is $122, and the median amount of days a home has been staying on the market is currently 32.

“The real estate business has not changed, but the way we do business has changed,” Allemand said. “We felt the impact in March when people began feeling uncomfortable around other people and when the toilet paper shortage kicked in and a little panic ensued.”

After the learning curve of how to “be safe” was taught, Allemand said people began to adapt to new ways of doing things.

“Closings continued,” she said, “sometimes in the parking lot with suited up attorneys, and showings continued with gloves, shoe coverings and masks.”

Allemand said she has been impressed with the cooperation of buyers in adhering to the requests sellers may have and their comfort level of letting their homes be shown.

“People who needed homes had to look and sellers who needed to sell their homes were and are willing to let them be shown,” she said. “It’s definitely an unprecedented time for all businesses, but one of my favorite sayings is, “Blessed are those who are flexible, for they won’t get bent out of shape.”

 

About Monique Roth 135 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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