Oct 8, 2013 12:50 AM by Alex Labat
Home sales in Lafayette are booming.
From January to August of this year, 2,235 homes were sold in Lafayette Parish.
That's a 27% increase over 2012, and a 16% increase over the record setting year of 2007.
"Basically, it's consumer confidence. When we had our version of the recession in 2009 and 2010, the first thing people stopped buying was a new home", says Greg Gautreaux, President of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority.
He says since 2009, low unemployment and higher wages in Acadiana have created an upswing in the housing market, and it's sending shockwaves throughout the local economy.
"It's important to understand that construction of new homes and new business is a way to build up wealth. And therefor you've got great multipliers and it creates opportunity in suppliers and buyers and other businesses and support industry", says Gautreaux.
It's also good news for homeowners.
Since 1990, homes in Louisiana have appreciated over 130%.
Greg Manuel with Manuel Builders says it's demand, and the local culture, that's driving up the appreciation for homes in Acadiana.
"There was some pent up demand, but I think there's some job growth here that justifies it as well. Interest rates are great, it's just a great time to buy", says Manuel.