Up until the crazy post Katrina market of 2006, we really considered ourselves insulated from the real estate woes that so much of the rest of the U.S. was experiencing. Slow, steady growth was the norm. None of that pie in the sky appreciation, just a "normal" market.
2006 turned us on our ear on the West Bank of New Orleans. With no levee breaks and minimal storm damage, home buyers flocked to the area as they returned to the city. We barely had to stick a sign in the ground and a house, no matter how out of date or in need of repairs, was quickly sold, driving prices through the roof in a very short period of time.
Like any bubble, it had to burst. When it did the market plummeted to one of the lowest levels of home sales we have seen since automated tracking started in 1993.
The good news is that sales are not down in every West Bank community. You can view the details at:
- Algiers Market Reports
- Belle Chasse Market Reports
- Gretna Market Reports
- Terrytown Market Reports
- Harvey Market Reports
- Marrero Market Reports
- Westwego Market Reports
West Bank Home Prices
Prices have taken a hit as well over the last few years, although they are not down as much as the actual number of sales. Firmly in the middle of a buyers market in most West Bank communities, home sellers are competing with a growing number of foreclosures and short sales that are continuing to push home values down.
There are still pockets of appreciation, with median prices up in the 70094 zip code (Westwego, Avondale, Bridge City and Waggaman).
We have seen a slight increase in activity in the last few weeks, but many of those inquiries have been from people who need to sell one home in order to move to another, perpetuating the current cycle of too many homes for sale and not enough buyers.
What's the tipping point? I think that as rates continue to creep up, many of the buyers who have been waiting for the bottom of the market are going to realize that they may have missed their best chance. With prices in some West Bank communities at a 15 year low, I believe we may be close to that bottom everyone is talking about.
That said, I personally wouldn't attempt to sell a home in this market unless it's absolutely necessary. Give the market a chance to balance out and clear some of the listings off of the market as we attempt to define the new "normal".
If you need advice on getting your West Bank home sold or finding the right new place to call home, please contact the West Bank Living Team. It would be our pleasure to assist you with any of your real estate needs.