Local buyers are browsing properties online, gravitating to South Lafayette Parish and surrounding parishes, and buying homes with modern amenities.

These trends emerged in the first part of 2022 according to Latter & Blum Acadiana. And, despite the recent rise in interest rates, buyers will still have financing options if the perfect home comes on the market.

We spoke to Lori McCarthy, Chief Broker at Latter & Blum Acadiana, about the local residential real estate market this year and what people can expect for the rest of 2022.

What have been some of the major real estate trends in Acadiana so far in 2022?

One of the biggest trends is the increased use of digital media to buy homes. Whereas 10 years ago buyers viewed more than 20 homes before making a decision, buyers are now bidding on homes without ever setting foot in them. As real estate agents, it’s important to use our photos and videos effectively to properly portray a home’s features, as most buyers begin their search on computers and smartphones.

We are also seeing buyers moving to more rural areas of our market, perhaps because prices are more affordable outside of Lafayette Parish. The average price for homes sold in the first half of 2022 in Lafayette Parish was $297,000, while it averaged $270,000 across the Acadiana region.

When it comes to design trends, we’re still seeing neutral paint and cabinetry, but we’re starting to see color in accent walls and the return of wallpaper to break up the monotony of a single color. paint. Wood-look vinyl plank flooring is very popular and can be seen in new homes of all price ranges.

The “sweet spot” for sales was $150,000 to $299,999. What kind of house can you expect to buy at this price in Acadiana?

According to Latter & Blum’s latest market report, as of January 1, 2022, 55% of all Acadiana home sales fall within this range. Homes vary widely based on location, age, and condition of the home. For example, in Iberia Parish, a few newly built homes cost between $197,500 and $262,000. These had 1,400 to 1,625 feet of living space, granite or quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank floors, and open floor plans.

Lafayette Parish offers a wider range of homes in this price range, usually with three or four bedrooms. The lowest-priced new home sold for $169,999 in The Cove subdivision and had granite countertops, vinyl plank flooring, post-tensioning slab and a fully grassed yard. At the top end of the range were homes in Fairhaven and Acadian Meadows that sold for nearly $299,000 and featured upgrades such as custom tiled showers with frameless doors, undermount sinks, LED lighting , tankless water heaters and smart thermostats. Most of these homes had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,800 to 2,400 feet of living space.

Which neighborhoods in Lafayette Parish have been the most popular among homebuyers? What about the surrounding parishes?

Within Lafayette Parish, the area with the most sales in the first half of 2022 is between Verot School Road/Highway 90 and Highway 92, with 356 sales. The average sale price here was $319,859. This area, combined with much of South Lafayette from Johnston Street/Ambassador Caffery, as well as Broussard and Youngsville, has seen nearly 800 of 1,800 sales since January.

Outside of Lafayette Parish, we are seeing growth in the more rural parts of Iberia, St. Landry, and St. Martin Parishes.

This map shows different real estate areas in the parish of Lafayette. Zone O has been the most popular among homebuyers so far this year.

What impact do you think the recent rise in interest rates will have on the local real estate market? What should buyers and sellers do in light of this change?

If people are ready to buy, they shouldn’t let interest rates stop them, as we believe they will only go up as the year progresses.

Buyers have many options. They may look into adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), especially if they only plan to stay in their home for five to seven years. They can also redeem the interest rate or negotiate for the seller to help them instead of negotiating the price.

Prospective buyers should also ensure their credit score is in the highest possible range to qualify for the best rates available and work with local mortgage companies who know and understand the Acadiana real estate market.

Sellers need to remember that while we haven’t seen rates like these in several years, people are still buying homes. They understand that once rates stabilize or drop in the future, they can refinance their home, using their equity to get the best rates.

Latter & Blum has local offices at 2000 Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette, 209 West Main Street in New Iberia and 220 Prescott Boulevard in Youngsville. For more information or to speak to an agent, visit www.latter-blum.com.