The real estate market in St. Charles Parish remained favorable for both buyers and sellers in the face of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and now the numbers are in on how the market fared in 2021 and outlooks are positive on what 2022 will deliver.
There were 438 parish homes sold by realtors in 2021. Prices ranged from $40,000 – $735,000, with the average sales price at $250,000. The average price per sq. foot of living area was $140.
Regina Allemand, a realtor with Latter & Blum, said last year homes sold within 1% of the list price and there were 31 listed new constructions that sold with prices ranging from $224,000 to $525,000. They averaged $180 per sq. ft.
“The St. Charles Parish real estate market has continued to be steady considering our obstacles of COVID and Hurricane Ida,” Allemand said. “Recovery has been slower than expected by many homeowners who hope to have had their homes on the market by the start of 2022. Homes have come on the market with repairs still pending – several coming on gutted and reduced pricing.”
Allemand said pricing has come to a plateau from the aggressive rise in home pricing in the spring and summer months of 2021.
“This was reflective of the low interest rates and lack of inventory pushing the prices for homes higher,” Allemand said. “Hurricane Ida blew in and blew this unprecedented market uptick away. Many of the pent-up buyers who were left out pre-Ida had a different market to look at.”
Allemand said buyers who used reserved home buying funds for evacuation and for repairs on their personal properties and belongings now have less money for down payments and closing costs.
“Coupled with an increase of COVID cases and job security from the damages of Ida has left the market in an uncharted territory of sales prices,” Allemand said. “Properties are coming on the market and selling many with multiple offers. Once again buyers are experiencing a sellers market, as was in pre-Ida. With the forecast of interest rates rising – it becomes more competitive to find just the right home now.”
Wendy Benedetto, another Latter & Blum realtor, agreed.
“Interest rates are moving up,” Benedetto said. “While I just closed a sale at a 2.75% rate, we were also just quoted a 3.25% and could continue to rise … (but) homes are selling faster than ever due to the amount of homes for sale being low in inventory and buyers ready to buy.”
She said current market issues involve residents trying to put their homes back together following Hurricane Ida, fighting with insurance adjusters and waiting on answers.
“Another issue we could face is … those who lived in a non-flood zone and did not have flood insurance … it could cost buyers an exorbitant amount of money to obtain (flood insurance), causing homes to not sell quickly,” Benedetto said. “However, those homes do still sell. Homes that were hit with IDA may come on the market … most will be redone and be more attractive to buyers, but I feel buyers are going to be very mindful to how repairs were done and expect to see receipts. Patience will need to be present when building or purchasing a home.”
Benedetto remained positive about the long-term outlook of the local real estate market.
“All in all we are going to be fine,” she said. “We still have top-rated schools and low crime. St. Charles Parish has lots to offer. We have the best real estate agents locally that know how to represent our community. We were hit hard from Ida, but I do see a comeback.”