February 2023 Market Update for Acadiana

🔥Check out our snapshots of residential sales data across the Acadiana parishes for the month of February🔥
For all the parishes combined, sales volumes were about 18% higher than January but still 33% lower than February last year. Average and median sales prices increased quite a bit month over month. Sales to list ratio also showed some improvement. The average cumulative days on market continued to lengthen.
Check out these graphics to see what’s happening in your parish!

Appraisals for Divorce

Divorce is never an easy process, and dividing assets can be especially challenging.  One of the most significant assets that often need to be divided is the marital home, and determining its value can be a crucial step in the process.  In this article, we’ll discuss appraisals in the divorce process and how they can help ensure that the property is divided fairly.

  1. Timing is essential.  It’s important to get an appraisal early in the divorce process so that both parties have a clear understanding of the property’s value.  This can help avoid delays in the settlement process and ensure that both parties have the necessary information to make informed decisions.  In some situations, a retrospective appraisal may be requested by the attorney.  This is an appraisal that determines the value of a property at a specific point in the past, rather than at the current time.
  2. Choose a qualified appraiser.  When selecting an appraiser for the property, it’s essential to choose someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about appraisals in divorce cases.  A qualified appraiser will have the necessary expertise to provide an accurate and well supported valuation of the property.
  3. Understand the appraisal process.  During the appraisal process, the appraiser will visit the property, take measurements, and evaluate the property’s condition. The appraiser will research recent sales of similar properties in the area to determine the property’s value.  The appraiser will then provide a detailed report outlining their findings and explaining how they arrived at the final opinion of value.

At Acadiana Appraisals & Consulting, we understand the sensitive and emotional nature of the divorce process.  We prioritize maintaining client confidentiality and professionalism throughout the appraisal process.  Lane Duplechin, our chief appraiser, has vast experiences in completing divorce appraisals and other litigation-related appraisals.  He has completed extensive training in this field and understands the importance of providing a well-supported and comprehensive valuation of the property.  He uses a variety of data sources and analysis methods to produce appraisal reports that are detailed and easy-to-understand.

In conclusion, an appraisal is a crucial step in the divorce process.   It’s important to work with a qualified and experienced appraiser.  With the right approach, an appraisal can help both parties move forward with the divorce process and begin the next chapter of their lives.

Sale Price to Original List Price Ratio Declining for Acadiana

🚨 The sales to list ratio for Acadiana is trending lower and currently stands around 92%. This indicates homes in the area are selling for around 8% less than their original list price.

This shift the market means that buyers have more bargaining power and greater opportunities to negotiate lower prices. Our data also shows longer cumulative days on market and a slight downward shift in average home prices.

#AcadianaRealEstate #MarketValues #Appraiser #realestate

Assessment vs Appraisal

Parish and city property tax statements for 2022 were recently sent out.  A nice little present for homeowners as we enter this holiday season!  Ba-humbug! 😂

 

Property taxes are calculated by the local assessor’s office.  There are several factors that go into the calculation.  Check out https://lafayetteassessor.com/Home/Topics to get more details on the actual calculations.  One of the primary drivers, though, is the property’s assessed value.  This value is determined by a process called an assessment.

 

An assessment and an appraisal may be easily confused.  Both are used to measure a property’s value.  Each has a different intended use (or, purpose).  Assessments are primarily for tax purposes.  Real estate appraisals are used to determine the property’s appraised value.  The appraised value is typically reflects the fair market value, or the amount a reasonable buyer might expect to pay for the property, at a specific point in time.

 

Typically, the appraisal process is more detailed and in-depth than an assessment.  An appraiser closely evaluates the subject property’s unique condition, amenities, market, and location.  When possible, the appraiser visits the house or property in person to get a thorough view of the specific property.  The in-depth analysis and understanding of the unique property allow the appraiser to closely compare, or contrast, the property to others nearby.

 

Assessments estimate the property’s value.  According to the Lafayette Parish Assessor’s website, real estate data and computer assisted mass appraisal programs are utilized to value properties.  These type of computer generated valuation tools can be useful when ballpark estimates are need for thousands of properties.  The models can have their downfalls (ask Zillow https://www.wsj.com/articles/zillow-offers-real-estate-algorithm-homes-ibuyer-11637159261), but we’ll leave that topic for another post.

 

The timing of assessments are also an important consideration.  The real estate market and property values are constantly changing.  The fair market value of a property today will most likely be different a few months from now.  The Lafayette Parish Assessor’s website states assessed values must be updated  at least every four years but may be updated yearly.  It’s important to keep in mind the assessed values have the potential to be dated by several months or even years.

 

The local tax assessor websites have easy to use search tools.  The links to local websites are provided below.   Homeowners can see the assessed market value assigned to their property.  It is important to keep in mind the value is just an estimate for tax purposes.  Important real estate or financial decisions should not be based solely on the assessed market value assigned.  There is only a need to act if you have reason to believe the “assessed market value” is HIGHER than the fair market value of the property.  A higher value could mean you are paying too much in property taxes.  If you do suspect your property’s assessed value is too high, the assessor’s office can provide steps to request a re-evaluation.  Documentation such as an appraisal from a certified appraiser may be required as evidence.  Our office can assist with this request.

 

Lafayette Parish: https://lafayetteassessor.com/

Vermilion Parish: http://vermilionassessor.org/

St. Landry Parish: https://www.stlandryassessor.org/Search

Iberia Parish: https://www.iberiaassessor.org/

St. Martin Parish: https://www.stmartinassessor.org/

Acadia Parish: https://www.acadiaassessor.org/

October 2022 Residential Sales Data

Volume

During October, there were 431 residential sales in the Lafayette MSA (referred to as “Acadiana” here).  The number of sales were down 10% as compared to September and down 18% as compared to October last year.  Sales volume is continuing its downward decline since it’s 2022 peak in May.  The market typically shows some decline during the Fall months, but the change is significantly more dramatic this year.  The number of sales is much closer to those from 2017 and 2018.

Sales in Lafayette parish were about 64% of the total for this Acadiana region.  Since Lafayette parish represents such a large portion, we find it useful to analyze some of the metrics by looking at Lafayette parish by itself.  The parish’s metrics and stats tend to vary slightly in comparison to the other parishes that tend to be more rural.  We also analyze all the other parishes together without Lafayette parish.  Since the individual parishes have fewer sales, the metrics tend to be “noisier” and move around more.  Trends and stats can be more easily observed when the parishes are combined and/or the data is analyzed over longer periods of time.

It’s very evident sales volume within Lafayette parish is declining.  This decline is driving much of the change within the Acadiana region.  Among the other parishes, we see a downward trend but perhaps not as pronounced.

Sales Prices

The median sales price in the Acadiana region was $232,000 for October.  The average sales price was $247,000, but we’ll reference the median to minimize the variability with using averages.  The median price has remained relatively stable within a range between $230-$234 thousand since July 2022.  Unlike sales volumes, sales prices seem to be somewhat stable and still significantly higher than pre-Covid levels.  Even in comparison to October 2021, the median sales price is about 2% higher.

Lafayette Parish’s prices trend similarly to the total Acadiana region, but the other parishes are showing some decline.  The median sales price for the Acadiana parishes excluding Lafayette was $162,000 for October.  While this is lower than the $175-187 thousand range in earlier 2022, the median sales price is still higher than October in the previous four years.

We’re also monitoring the trend of prices within the various segments of the Acadiana market.  For example, the median sales prices for various size homes have the potential to trend differently.  Currently, we’re not seeing a significant change in any of the size buckets.  The largest homes (3,000+ square feet) represent the smallest percentage of sales and cover a wide range of property sizes, so the variability month to month is to be expected.  Given the rising interest rates, we also recognize affordability is a concern within the market.  We may see buyers opting for smaller homes, so it is important monitor trends within the size categories.  We’re not seeing a significant change, yet.

Gross Living Area

Given the rising interest rates, we also recognize affordability is a concern for buyers.  We may see them opting for smaller homes, so we’re monitor trends for gross living area (GLA).  Monthly, even quarterly, averages tend to bounce around, so we must look for trends over a longer period.  Post-Covid, average living areas of sold homes did increase within Acadiana.  Average sizes have declined since the peak at the end of 2020, and the third quarter of 2022 declined about 2%.

Days on Market

The cumulative days on market (CDOM) averaged 39 days for October.  The Acadiana market has seen this metric extend slightly over the past few months. In comparison to recent years, though, CDOM is well below average.  The CDOM does vary depending upon sales price category.  For example, houses sold between $150-250 thousand (33% of total sales) averaged 28 days on the market.  Homes in the $250-400 thousand dollar range (30% of total sales) had an average of 47 days.  Within the highest price range of $750 thousand and above, the average was 78 days, but these accounted for less than 10% of total sales.

Sales to List Prices

The sales to list ratio for Acadiana was 97% during October.  The metric has moved around throughout the year but appears to have a downward trend.

Despite relatively stable sales prices, more than half (58%) of the sales in October sold for less than their original list price.  This ratio has steadily increased throughout 2022; whereas the portion of properties selling for more than the original list price has contracted.

The size of the price reductions has stayed relatively stable, but there’s just more price reductions occurring.  Of the properties with price reductions during 2022, the monthly average final sales price has ranged between 8-11% lower than the original list price.  The ratio was 8.7% during October.

Data Source: Realtor Association of Acadiana FlexMLS as of 11/7/2022

Search Criteria: Residential properties with Status = Sold and Parishes = Acadia, Iberia, Lafayette, St Landry, St Martin, and Vermilion

Panelist for LBA’s Appraisal Compliance Seminar

💥The Louisiana Bankers Association (LBA) is hosting an Appraisal Compliance Seminar in Baton Rouge today. Lane had the honor to serve as a panelist for the residential appraisal discussion.💥
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Appraisers from around the state discussed topics including:
✅ State of the current market
✅ Reconsiderations of value
✅ Desktop appraisals
✅ ANSI standards
✅ Changes in the industry
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It was a great opportunity to meet with some of our lending partners and hear from other appraisers!