Weekly Real Estate Recap 4.27.2020
Yesterday, the number of COVID-19 cases in New Orleans was the lowest since the outbreak began in early March. The state of Louisiana plans to open in a staggered approach and several business leaders are encouraging Mayor Cantrell to open New Orleans. Mayor Cantrell recommended that all festivals in New Orleans be cancelled through 2020. I heard an interesting comment from a round table of local leaders that has resonated with me over the last few days: “By New Orleans going through Katrina, our city and region are better equipped to handle COVID-19.” The world has shifted in similar ways to after 9/11, the economic recession, and the BP Oil Spill. One’s home has become more valuable in the last 45 days than ever before. It will be important to continue to have housing at the forefront of our local and national recovery as the possibility of second and third waves of the virus may be in our future. In addition, we have hurricane season starting in less 2 months.
Our firm has access to data that compares the number of real estate showings on any given day to the same day last year. Showings are down compared to the same time last year to 45% three weeks ago, 40% two weeks ago, and 28% last week. On Mardi Gras day this year, February 25th, showings were at 0% and showings were at 0% on March 16th, the day that the Stay at Home Order was announced in Louisiana. Per the National Association of Realtors, 50% of all sellers have put their plans to sell on hold for various reasons: employment loss, health concerns, and worry about buyers entering their homes. Buyer interest has also decreased by 50% and the main reason is based on employment status. We see a distinct trend in what homes are being listed for sale and who the buyers are in the marketplace. Homes that are vacant are being shown immediately compared to homes that are occupied. Buyers who are employed in the following industries are actively looking for a home: healthcare, education, tech, delivery services, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
To share some personal research, I showed 20 homes this week from Algiers to Gentilly. 18 of the homes were vacant. Vacant homes are empty homes or homes where sellers were out of town when the Stay at Home Order was announced, and they could not return to New Orleans. I inspected 3 homes, leased 1 property, listed 1 home for sale and so far, we have had 7 showings on that home and negotiated 2 contracts. I think it is important to share that 4 buyers started the pre-approval process this week. We are encouraging sellers to look at their pricing and know their goal, target, and bottom-line numbers and to focus on their target number as their listing price as we enter May. Witry Collective was a part of 2 webinars this week: The State of the Housing Market Part II, hosted by the Preservation Resource Center (Click for Details) and An Industry Round Table, hosted by The Urban Land Institute (Click for Details). Once the webinars are posted we will share them with you.
Stay safe, reach out, and enjoy Jazz Festing in Place with WWOZ (Click to Listen). Our cultural bearers and musicians remind us of why we LOVE our city so much. (Click Here) to donate to or apply for the New Orleans Business Alliance Gig Fund.