For Van Eaton and Romero the golden year of real estate sales was 2007
with the influx of people relocating to Lafayette Parish post-Katrina.
Realtors in Lafayette sold more homes in 2007 than any other year ever.
After the great recession housing sales began to stabilize and the great
boom of 2007 seemed like a great fluke, until this past January.
"Normally we don't have a lot of sales January, February; usually not
till after Mardi Gras. The day after Mardi Gras phones start ringing.
This year day after New Years my phone started ringing," said Van Eaton
and Romero realtor Allen Duhe.
Steven Hebert, current treasurer and former president of the Realtor
Association of Acadiana, says January is the slowest month. It's cold
and easier to move while the kids are on summer vacation.
But he says last month housing sales in Lafayette saw an uptick of 15
percent over 2007.
"January sales, which is typically one of our worst months of the year
seasonally, came in at 41 million. I would expect a typical January to
be in the 25 to 30 million."
A one month increase isn't enough to announce a trend but Duhe says
sales in February are looking like January or maybe even better.
"We're short on inventory and that's usually not the case. A couple
years ago we had a lot of inventory," said Duhe.
Attractive interest rates, more investor confidence and a renewed
interest in the American dream he says are propelling increasing home
"Interest rate has a lot to do with it. I think a lot of first time home
buyers are discovering they can purchase a home for what they're renting
and they would much rather have ownership and equity than put their
money aside and rent," said Duhe.
Keith Saltzein who moved into his River Ranch home last Friday thinks
people just have a new interest in the Hub City.
"The attractions Lafayette has as far as downtown live and Rhythm on the
River and things like that... there's a lot to do for families and
that's probably a big portion of it."