Louisiana’s residential real estate market showed a significant increase in sales activity during the third quarter, with sales up 20.2% over the third quarter of 2010, according to Louisiana Realtors. Year to date, the number of houses sold in the state is up 2.7% over last year. “Our market has generally followed the national trend over the past year, but our employment numbers have held stronger than the national average, and real estate activity now seems to be bouncing back from the ongoing effects of a slow economy and the BP oil spill,” says Louisiana Realtors President Malcolm Young. While sales were up, the average sale price slid 0.9% in the third quarter to $184,971, compared to the same period in 2010. Nonetheless, the average sale price was up 1.5% compared to three years ago. The Greater Baton Rouge market showed the greatest increase in sales activity in the state, with home sales up 31.9% over the third quarter of last year. The Houma-Thibodaux metro area posted a 26.8% sales increase on the quarter, while Lafayette saw a 24.3% increase, greater New Orleans a 21.3% increase, Lake Charles a 21% increase, Monroe a 19.4% increase, and Alexandria a 11.6% increase. The northwest Louisiana market, which had cooled some in the second quarter, remained flat in the third quarter. Sales in the Shreveport-Bossier area were down 0.9% on the quarter.