The number of houses sold in metro Baton Rouge was 8.1% lower in May than the year before, a sign that rising interest rates are taking a toll on the market.

There were 1,240 homes sold in May, according to figures released Wednesday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Reators’ Multiple Listing Service. That’s down from the 1,350 MLS sales in May 2021. It was the third month in a row that home sales were down year-to-year.

Home sales were down 5% in Livingston Parish, from 242 to 230. East Baton Rouge Parish, which accounts for the biggest portion of the market, had an 8.5% drop in sales, going from 714 to 653. Ascension Parish was down 12%, from 234 to 206.

In a sign that home sales may slow down even further, there were 1,033 pending sales in May, a 21.6% drop from the 1,318 pending sales a year earlier.

Despite the slowdown in sales, home prices continue to rise, inventory remains limited and houses aren’t staying on the market for long. The median sale price for a home in the metro area was $252,500 in May, up from $235,000 a year earlier.

There were 1,454 houses for sale at the end of May, a 17.6% decrease from the 1,765 homes for sale the year before. And the average amount of time a house was on the market before it sold was 32 days, down from 51 a year earlier.

Through the first five months of the year, there have been 5,378 MLS sales. That’s down 6.5% from May 2021, when there were 5,750 MLS sales year to date.