Real estate prices rise 6.2%

Reporting a 6.2 percent increase in housing prices over last year, St. Charles Parish’s real estate agents say the area’s residential market is healthy.

“The housing market is definitely better at this time compared to the same time last year,” said Webb Jay, Realtor and owner of Webb Jay & Associates in Destrehan. “The market is moving in St. Charles Parish, there’s no question about that.”

Demand and a low inventory are driving prices up on residential properties, Jay said. There are only 85 active listings in the parish.

Wendy Benedetto, agent with Latter & Blum in Destrehan, agreed.

“Its just crazy,” Benedetto said. “Because we have such low inventory, we’re seeing multiple offers more and more. I have seen some things I’m just amazed at right now. It’s a really good market.”

Market drivers include low property taxes, a quality school system and good job opportunities, Jay said.

“It’s a great place to live,” he said. “St. Charles Parish has a lot to offer.”

A lot of first-time buyers and college graduates are in the market, he added.

“We also have a lot of ‘move-up buyers’ selling their first home as their families grow, getting bigger homes,” he said.

Benedetto said relocations with some plants shifting people due to expansions are also bringing buyers to the local market, and many people are taking advantage of good interest rates.

In price, Jay said the parish’s most in-demand house range is $220,000 to $260,000. The many first-time buyers in the market are shopping in the $180,000 to $220,000 range.

“You’re going to have to move quickly and be prepared to put your best offer in.” — Wendy Benedetto

“The nice thing about St. Charles Parish is there’s properties in just about every price range,” he said “The inventory is a little low right now. School is coming back and buyers are looking to buy.”

Benedetto said the average list price of homes in St. Charles Parish is $290,000. Homes are spending an average of 40 days on the market.

Jay said best selling properties are those priced right, which can generate an offer within a week to 30 days. Some of these listings are generating multiple offers and even backup offers.

“It’s a seller’s best move to price right because it’ll sell quicker and get competing bids,” he said. “This is faster with sell time being as much as half shorter.”

Benedetto agreed.

“It’s frustrating to buyers when they keep losing out on an offer,” she said. “It’s happening a lot more than it’s ever happened.”

As one of the parish’s hot spots for residential sales, Benedetto pointed to the 70047 zip code (the Destrehan area) with eight properties that went under contract in the last 30 days. They range in price from $144,000 to $619,000, the latter property going under contract in just seven days despite the price.

Benedetto said other areas in high demand include the Mimosa area and new construction at Ashton Plantation in Luling.
“If you’re looking for a house right now, it may take you a little bit,” she said. “You’re going to have to move quickly and be prepared to put your best offer in.”

The New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (NOMAR) numbers show a price rise in the first half of this year over the same time last year. In St. Charles Parish, the average selling price for this period was $231,018 this year compared to $213,989 in the first half of last year.


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