Get Ur Geek OnHow was the New Orleans real estate market doing before the pandemic?

April 22, 20200

The New Orleans real estate market was really humming before the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hit us. The amount of inventory was down, but number of closed sales was up. Less supply and more demand meant that properties went under contract faster and property values went up substantially.

Here’s a look at how the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous two years:

Number of Active Listings

  • 2020: 11,640 (-6%)
  • 2019: 12,383 (-1%)
  • 2018: 12,475

Number of Closed Sales

  • 2020: 2,119 (+5%)
  • 2019: 2,027 (<1%)
  • 2018: 2,020

Median Days to Sell

  • 2020: 34 (-17%)
  • 2019: 41 (-13%)
  • 2018: 47

Median Sales Price

  • 2020: $228,033 (+16%)
  • 2019: $196,608 (+8%)
  • 2018: $181,250

We were active buyers in the first quarter, and I can tell you first hand that these statistics reflect our experience. Properties that were languishing on the market for months suddenly found buyers. Three different times we went through a house, really liked it, and I called the listing agent to be told they went under contract earlier that same day. We ended up competing for the Bywater house we’re very happily in now with one other offer, and a different buyer put in a backup offer while we under contract.

The number that really stands out is the median sales price. A 16% jump year-over-year is dramatic. Add the previous year to the mix, and a house that would have sold for $300,000 in 2018 would have gotten $372,000 in the first quarter of 2020. That kind of appreciation isn’t sustainable or particularly healthy, but this pandemic has probably taken care of that concern. We’ll see what that looks like when I update these numbers after the second quarter.

Geeky postscript: When I look at stats here and in my semi-weekly email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe), I only use residential numbers in Orleans Parish. Real estate is hyper-local, so statistics tell a more accurate story when I narrow down the area as much as I can. However, since the sample size is relatively small, there can be some big swings week to week and even month to month. As a result, comparing quarters gives us a good indication of trends in the New Orleans market.

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