New Orleans Real Estate News

April 14, 2022

Welcome to the MBell Team, Amanda Tranchant!

Mirambell Realty is excited to announce that Amanda Tranchant has joined the MBell Family! We are thrilled to have her here in the office with us!

Posted in In the News, News
April 12, 2022

Mirambell Realty Welcomes Kimberly Schexnayder To The Team!

Mirambell Realty is excited to announce Stefanie Zeledon has joined the MBell Family! We are excited for the experience you bring to our office and look forward to the growth as part of our team.

Posted in In the News, News
April 12, 2022

The MBell Realty team welcomes Stefanie Zeledon!

Mirambell Realty is excited to announce Stefanie Zeledon has joined the Mirambell Realty Family! We are are so excited to have her on our team and to see how she grows with us. 

Posted in In the News, News
March 30, 2022

Craig Mirambell Jr. speaks on FEMA's Risk 2.0

Risk Map 2.0, FEMA’s new attempt to solve the national flood insurance problem in the United States, hasn’t started off on the right foot for many on the Guif Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. Many homeowners are finding out their flood insurance rates are going to be rising and it’s not just nickels and dimes. Some renewals in Metro New Orleans are going from $700/a year premiums to $11,000.  FEMA has capped the amount a premium can increase to 18% a year, but with compounding increases these premiums could put some homeowners under water and unable to pay such exorbitant costs.

 

Craig Mirambell Jr., CEO of Mirambell Realty, says, “The problem I see is that many homeowners aren’t even aware of what’s to come because the increases won’t happen until their renewals hit starting in April. Many homes without policies that are being sold now are facing the immediate increase as there is no incremental increase if the property did not carry flood insurance previously.”.  The rate hikes will surely affect many Metro New Orleanians as the new Risk Map 2.0 heavily relies on data such as proximity to bodies of water but doesn't take into account as largely if your home is built inside the flood protection of the levees.  “A lot of the characteristics we are used to with flood insurance are no longer as big of factors in reducing premiums. For example, flood zones, height above base flood elevation, and if your home has ever flooded previously are no longer what FEMA considers a priority in their new pricing determination.”, Craig added. 

 

Another reason many homeowners aren’t aware of these potential increases is possibly an inattention to the new Risk Map 2.0. This could be attested to New Orleanians still recovering from Hurricane Ida. There are still blue roofs around the city and many are still in debate with their homeowners carriers. Flood Insurance just sent at the top of the minds right now for those renovating still.”  We can’t forget that homeowners insurance prices are going through the roof on the heels of Ida and its aftermath. Many are seeing their carriers leave the state or are being faced with hurricane deductibles up to 5%, reminiscent of post-Katrina. The one-two-punch of both rising premiums will not be warmly welcomed, but just like hurricanes, we seem to resiliently get through them each time.

 

Read more HERE 

Posted in In the News, News
March 28, 2022

'The possibilities are endless' Craig Mirambell Jr. discusses the power of ROAM MLS

Mirambell Realty is excited to announce that Craig Mirambell Jr., CEO, will continue in the role of President of  ROAM  MLS for 2022.  The ROAM Board of Managers is made up of a group of Realtors with great vision and persistency and all should be applauded for the  collaborative effort shown by the Board and their local staff. Craig says, “The power within ROAM was proven on day one when single family data went live in the MLS for the first time amongst the 4 associations together. Many Realtors were appreciative that they could now practice Real Estate in these areas where they have been licensed from the beginning. Before ROAM, Louisiana Realtors did not have MLS access in other regions without paying additional dues, our Board has merged that gap and is looking to grow with other associations coming on board soon.” 

 

 ROAM is Louisiana’s Realtors largest and most powerful MLS in the state. Currently, ROAM consists of 4 state associations; the New Orleans Metropolitan Board of Realtors/GSREIN, the Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, Central Board of Realtors, and Bayou Board of Realtors. These 4 associations account for 12,000 of the 15,000 Realtors in the state.

 

What does this means for Louisiana Realtors? A Realtor who subscribes to one of the participating partner associations will have access to all current listings and historical data in these regions of the state. A cooperation for commission is included as well as unified rules and more products offered to help the Realtor provide better services to their customers. Realtors using ROAM will also benefit from a single point of entry to enter new listings into the system. 

 

Craig stated, “The possibilities are endless with ROAM, we aspire to have other Boards in the state join ROAM as well as other states in the Gulf Coast. In the future, we hope to see a commercial side of ROAM for all of our Commercial practitioners. We will always provide great customer service and add products to keep our Realtors leading the state.”

 

See more about ROAM MLS here.

Posted in In the News, News
Feb. 10, 2022

Welcome to the MBell Team, Brittany English!

Mirambell Realty is excited to announce that Brittany English has joined the MBell Family! We are thrilled to have her here in the office with us!

Posted in In the News, News
Feb. 2, 2022

Metro-area home sale prices grew 10.5% in 2021

Which neighborhoods were the most popular among New Orleans-area homebuyers in in 2021? All of them, according to local realtors who saw sales prices grow by double digits during the second year of the pandemic.

oak

This 3,150-square-foot home at 204 Camborne Lane in Slidell, priced at $355,000, lasted five days on the market. More than 1,500 homes sold in Slidell last year, an increase of 20% from the 2020 total. Photo courtesy Mirambell Realty

“There wasn’t an area across the entire New Orleans metro area that wasn’t hot,” said Leslie Heindel, an agent with Crescent City Living.

“Inventory went quickly, especially in the markets below the $300,000 price range and in surrounding New Orleans areas where people could still be close to the city,” Heindel said. “Bidding wars for those affordable homes took place throughout the year; I was even in two bidding wars on Christmas Eve. We had a lot of interest in out-of-state people moving here, while people living in the city were interested in moving to suburbs for more living and workspace due to the increased need to work from home.”

Local agents enjoyed a seller’s market of higher prices as residential prices grew 10.5% to an average sales price of $318,885. Days on the market dropped 36.2% to an average of 37 days. The number of homes sold increased 3.3% to 17,234 across the area.

According to New York-based RealtyHop’s year-end report, “2021 U.S. Housing Market in Review,” the 10.5% price increase made New Orleans 27th out of the top 50 largest cities in residential housing sales price growth.

“New Orleans followed the nationwide trend of an incredible year for residential real estate prices with several factors contributing to increased demand,” said Shane Lee, data scientist with RealtyHop. “The cost of financing was drastically reduced, thanks to historically low interest rates. This not only boosted home purchases but made refinancing more attractive. Pandemic-driven remote work led more families to migrate from the city to the suburbs, driving up prices in those areas. Construction material inflation prices and supply chain issues made building homes more costly, leading to lower inventory and more demand than supply.”

Nationwide, home prices went up 14% in 2021. Austin, Texas ($535,000 median price) was the hottest housing market in 2021, with a 27.7% rise in average sales prices. Lee expects the nationwide price growth to continue through 2022, with values to grow a further 6.3%.

“The market will likely cool off as the Federal Reserve starts raising rates, but it will remain strong until supply catches up,” Lee said. “As the pandemic continues with omicron, we expect demand for larger homes will continue in secondary and tertiary markets. Searches for two and three-bedroom homes are projected to outpace studio and one-bedroom properties.”

A factor that local real estate agents will be watching closely this year is flood insurance, particularly the effects from Risk Rating 2.0 and Hurricane Ida. Risk Rating 2.0, the National Flood Insurance Program’s new rating structure for policies, uses different methods of assessing risk. There are currently 495,900 homes in Louisiana with NFIP policies, and according to FEMA.gov, 80% of those will see a flood insurance premium increase of at least $20 per month in the first year. New policies beginning Oct. 1, 2021, and existing policyholders eligible for renewal were subject to the new rating methodology.

“With interest rates on the rise, inflation and supply chain issues, we need to add increased flood insurance and the lack of insurance carriers post-Ida as factors when looking to buy and sell,” said Kate Witry, an agent with Witry Collective. “There were at least 30 homeowner insurance carriers pre-Ida, now we may have six. Homeowners, and now flood premiums, are at all-time highs.”

Highest priced parish: Orleans

With an average sales price of $428,027, an increase of 9.8%  from 2020, Orleans Parish was the top priced metro area parish, according to the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (NOMAR) Gulf Shore Real Estate Information Network (GSREIN) market statistics report. There were 4,362 homes sold in Orleans Parish, a 9.1% increase from 2020. Days on market decreased 16.4%, down to 51. Lakeview had the most homes sold at 519.

“Lakeview continues to be the staple,” Witry said. “Lakeview has the most pools in New Orleans, and pools are on people’s wish lists, especially since they have been at home more throughout the pandemic.”

Uptown ranked second in Orleans Parish, at 444 homes sold in 2021.

“Uptown is always a hot area; it’s the quarter mile principle that people want to live in the vicinity of walking to retail, and enjoying the green space, oak trees and architecture that our beautiful city has to offer,” said Bryan Francher of Francher Perrin Group.

Gentilly ranked third in Orleans Parish at 428 homes sold, followed by the Lower Garden District (418) and Bywater (385) rounding out the top five in Orleans Parish.

“Gentilly ($320,723) has price ranges that are attractive and affordable, and we have had some buyer activity there from former renters who have more cash because of the federal injection, combined with low interest rates, and they can purchase now,” Witry said. “Amenities like Ponchartrain Park, additional green spaces, historic districts, larger lots and areas that are accessible to go downtown and be close to schools also make the area attractive.”

Sales in the Central Business District and arts district areas were hurt by the pandemic over the past two years. But recent developments such as The Standard at South Market, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences and the return of tourism, events, conferences and Mardi Gras could spike interest in downtown and increase residential sales volume.

“Tourism has been pretty non-existent for the past two years,” Witry added. “But hopefully, the spotlight will be put back on our downtown area through a rise of tourism and major events, and residential sales will improve along the same momentum of the surrounding areas.”

Metairie: ‘Gift that keeps on giving’

Metairie continues to anchor Jefferson Parish residential sales as 1,712 homes were sold in 2021, an increase from 1,658 in 2020. Overall, Jefferson Parish had 4,333 homes sold, a 3.3% increase from last year. Homes sold at an average price of $290,486, a 7.7% price increase; and days on market decreased from 45 to 30, a 33.3% drop.

“Metairie is on fire and is the gift that keeps on giving,” Witry said. “The majority of the housing stock is old-school, post-World War II, and people are buying them, updating them, investing in them, and they want to live near good streets, infrastructure, schools, the interstate and be within 10-15 minutes of their jobs.”

Throughout most of 2021, Craig Mirambell, CEO of Mirambell Realty, said if he did a residential listing property search that included Kenner to New Orleans, there would typically be “big empty pockets of little to no inventory.”

“Even if you saw a listing, it was gone within a week to two weeks; everyone wants proximity to the interstate and shopping,” Mirambell said. “We hit record low inventories in the last five years for the majority of both Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, and with the sale prices increasing in those areas it has forced more people to look in neighboring areas.”

That dynamic opened the door for a residential purchasing increase in places like St. Bernard Parish; Slidell, Mandeville and Madisonville within St. Tammany Parish; and Marrero, Gretna and Harvey on the west bank of Jefferson Parish.

Marrero ranked second in Jefferson Parish with 610 homes sold, surpassing Kenner (566), Gretna (408), and Harvey (311).

“The younger workforce is moving into the Marrero, Kenner and Harvey markets and finding nearby affordable price points where they can live and still be close to where they work,” Witry said. “These areas have also benefited from people displaced from their homes in Ida and looking for non-damaged housing stock.”

St. Bernard Parish experienced a 15.3% increase in the number of homes sold (610), combined with an average sales price increase of 22.7% to $241,006, the highest percentage price increase of any New Orleans metro area parish.

“I have sold a lot of homes in St. Bernard; it’s surprising how many people are heading to Arabi and Old Arabi,” Heindel said. “We have a lot of demand out there.”

St. Tammany Parish leads number of homes sold

St. Tammany Parish had the most homes sold in 2021, at 5,006, a 1.6% increase from 2020. Slidell (1,699 homes sold) led the parish, followed by Covington (1,333), Mandeville (921) and Madisonville (457).

“The Slidell average sales price is considerably lower than some of its neighboring cities. Slidell’s average sale price is about $255,000, while the next closest is Kenner ($270,000), then Covington ($340,000), Mandeville ($360,000), Metairie ($370,000) and New Orleans ($420,000),” Mirambell said. “There aren’t many places a buyer can get into Metro New Orleans for under $300,000. There are a considerable number of buyers in the area looking for homes under $300,000. When you have a city that has inventory under $300,000, one reason buyers are choosing Slidell is because of the great entry price point not found nearby.”

Felicity Kahn of Felicity Kahn & Associates at RE/MAX Alliance, added that within St. Tammany Parish, TerraBella in Covington is in high demand.

“It’s similar to a Seaside, Florida, with the white picket fences, commercial and residential on-site activities with a community that is neighborhood-driven, and people can live, work, play and socialize near where they live,” Kahn said. “Old Mandeville is also incredibly popular – expanding north of Florida Street and Monroe.”

House with an ‘escape room’

Pre-pandemic homes may have had more open spaces, but in pandemic times, the more rooms and isolated spaces in a house, the better.

“We have seen a trend of the escape room – a room of privacy, whether it be for an office, gym, in-home school learning environment for the kids or a place to just get away,” Witry said. “People want that extra room in their new purchase, and that fourth bedroom availability satisfies their privacy needs.”

Additional buyer wish lists include creative and larger outdoor space, pool and proximity to community and retail.

“When the lockdowns placed people at home more, being able to walk to grocery stores, banks, mom-and-pop retail places were all trends that were and still are appealing,” Francher said.

If buyers can’t find their ideal home to buy, Kahn has noticed they will renovate their existing homes to fit their needs.

“It’s another reason why inventory is lower than it has ever been – people have gotten comfy in their homes during COVID and performed renovations to make it suitable and comfortable for themselves,” Kahn said. “They finally got around to getting everything done on their honey-do list and removed limitations they may have had in the past that kept them from living and working in their homes as they are able to do now.”

menu

Source : Here

Posted in In the News, News
Jan. 26, 2022

'This thing is so far reaching': Flood coverage hikes coming for 8 out of 10 Louisianans

Gibson resident Misty Guidry wishes she hadn’t let her flood insurance policy lapse, she said. Now, if she wants coverage at their home in a rural community outside Houma, her family will have to retool their budget to afford it.

She recently asked her insurance agent what the new rate would be, Guidry said. He advised her to sit down before she read the figures. When she opened the email, she said, her heart dropped.“I was stressed out telling my husband like, ‘Oh, my God, what are we going to do? This is an extra $400 to $500 a month,’” Guidry said.

Her new rate is based on Risk Rating 2.0, Federal Emergency Management Agency's new system for calculating premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program. For most across the country, rates will shrink, but many in coastal areas like Southeast Louisiana will be hit hard.

“In Louisiana, 80% of policyholders will see increases in the first year. For some, premiums may become unaffordable and could collapse the value of their home,” U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy said on the Senate floor in September, in a pitch to delay implementation of the program.

New rates for people without a current flood insurance policy already went into effect in October. Homeowners who have a flood policy won't realize the impact on their monthly nut until policies are renewed starting in April.

For those with policies, premium hikes will be gradual — an 18% increase, compounded each year — until reaching the final rate. For those with the highest rate hikes, it could take eight to 10 years of annual 18% increases to reach the final rate, one insurance agent said. And the final rate is what some local real estate agents worry could eventually price some out of their homes.

“It’s a scary thing for the real estate industry,” said Craig Mirambell, who owns Mirambell Realty in Old Metairie.

Mirambell said he's afraid some sellers may have to lower home prices to make up for high flood premiums, which could result in selling at a loss. He said he also worries for those on fixed incomes who have trouble selling and can't afford the premiums themselves.

“If you can't make these payments every month, there might be foreclosures that happen over the years, just because of the flood risk map 2.0,” Mirambell said.

It's a concern felt by Gov. John Bel Edwards, as well. His office said in a statement to WDSU FEMA should work with states where homeowners' property values are being jeopardized, and "he is worried about RR 2.0’s impacts to grandfathered properties & policyholders with low/fixed income."

Those who aren’t forced to buy flood insurance based on the flood zone they live in or because their mortgage is fully paid may forgo coverage if they face big rate hikes, Bubrig Insurance Agency owner Bill Bubrig said.

“What else do you do? You feed your family buy flood insurance. And some people that's, you know, it could be that drastic,” said Bubrig, who lives and works in Belle Chasse.

In a statement to WDSU, National Flood Insurance Program Senior Executive David Maurstad said it’s reasonable to expect some policyholders to drop their policies as rates go up. But he claimed the more modern, risk-based and property-specific system will increase the salesforce.

“The question is do we increase premiums equitably based on risk and replacement cost value or inequitably where low-value homes and less risky homes continue to subsidize higher risk and higher value homes,” Maurstad said in the statement.

Cassidy said the new system was meant to fix a problem where less flood-prone, lower-priced homes were paying the way for oceanfront mansions to have coverage, but an unintended consequence may be middle and working-class homeowners in our region struggling to afford the hikes.

Real Estate Agent Linda Nugent Smith says while people in certain industries are aware of the new rates' impacts, the general public needs more education from FEMA about what's coming.

"This thing is so far-reaching, and people don't know about it yet," she said.

WHAT IS RISK RATING 2.0 BASED ON?

Bubrig said when looking up new rates for his various clients' addresses, rates sometimes seem arbitrary, which he’s having a hard time explaining to clients.

“It's hard to say what 2.0 takes into account because the algorithm that calculates it is proprietary. They won't really tell us exactly how they calculate these numbers,” he said.

His complaint about a lack of transparency is echoed by Cassidy and Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Both elected leaders sent letters to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell asking how factors are weighted to come up with the rate. Those answers would help instruct homeowners and builders on how to mitigate by building to those specs to bring rates down.

Bruce Layburn with JBL Properties in Harvey has built homes in the region his whole career and said knowing exactly how factors are weighted into FEMA’s formula could help homebuilders do a cost analysis to decide if it’s worth adjusting plans to get the homeowner a lower flood insurance rate.

“If it's going to be built on piers off the ground, we can tell them that cost,” Layburn said, adding, “We need to tell them what the premium savings is. We're asking for keys access to the flood rating engine.”

One factor clearly used, Bubrig said, is how close homes are to water, even if the home is protected by levees and has little to no history of flooding. In a statement to WDSU, Edwards said he agrees with levee boards that the state's investments in flood protection, like levees, should be taken into account.

Bubrig said other factors include the value of the home, with higher rates for pricier homes; what it’s made out of, with higher rates for water-damage susceptible materials like wood; and the number of stories, with higher rates for one-story homes where all contents are damaged.

Flood zones don't seem to play a role in the rate calculation, Bubrig says.

A FEMA spokesperson directed WDSU to “page 3-27” of the NFIP Flood Insurance Manuel for a list of mitigation measures homeowners can take. A statement says measures include elevation and adding crawlspaces and flood openings to drain floodwaters.

Cassidy said in a statement to WDSU FEMA has still not provided critical information to policyholders.

"We have repeatedly asked for answers and accountability, but have only gotten talking points. That is completely unacceptable when families in Louisiana have to worry about how they are going to afford to keep their home," he said.

HUNDREDS TO THOUSANDS FOR SOME

Bubrig lives in view of a levee that’s never overtopped. He said after learning the rate for his own home in Belle Chasse’s Jesuit Bend, which has not flooded since he built it 25 years ago, his family will likely opt out of coverage.

“We built to compliance, we built to where FEMA told us we needed to build to. But now with Risk Rating 2.0, we’re being hit with rates ..on our home in excess of $8,000, is what they're calculating our actuarial rate to be,” he said.

Mirambell foresees a problem, too: “It's going to go back to what it was during Hurricane Katrina in the Lakeview area where the majority was all flood zone X. A majority of those homeowners did not have insurance. And they went to FEMA looking for help. And luckily FEMA helped. But will that still be there? If these homeowners drop in a catastrophe comes through? Will we be able to get help?

Mirambell gave more examples of rate hikes: The rate for a home on Argonne Boulevard in New Orleans will go from $572 to $2,100; a home Pike Drive in Metairie from $572 to $2,400; a home on Emerald Dove Drive in Covington, from $572 to $3,400; and Lac Calcasieu Drive in Luling from $572 to$4,000; and one in Belle Chasse from $892 to $4,160.

Guidry said she’s not at risk of losing her home if they’re compelled to buy flood insurance, but she worries for those in her community who may be.

“It's really sad to know what's going to happen to those people around this area,” she said.

PUSH FOR A FIX

Cassidy, along with colleagues from Louisiana's delegation in Washington, D.C., introduced the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act, which a spokesman from his office says "Places guardrails" on Risk Rating 2.0. Among the fixes proposed is one to make the annual increases more incremental, to 9% a year instead of 18%. It is co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, Congressmen Troy Carter and Clay Higgins.

Cassidy's office says he will work to advance early this year.

In a statement responding to the elected officials' letters, the spokesperson tells WDSU FEMA, "takes feedback from legislators very seriously and engages directly with them to address their concerns."

GNO Inc CEO Michael Hecht said Risk Rating 2.0 has the potential to make it harder for families to stay in their homes or sell them: "Neither of those are good for families or good for the economy," he said.

His worry is it could hurt development and pressure people to leave Louisiana.

Hecht said homeowners should find out their new rates from their insurance agents and reach out to GNO Inc. with any astronomical hikes so the organization can provide FEMA and its congressional delegation with examples to push for change.

--

FEMA'S statement, in full:

"Under the old system, premiums will continue to increase for all NFIP policyholders regardless of flood risk, indefinitely perpetuating the inequity of low-value, low-risk properties subsidizing high-value, high-risk properties year after year.

"Risk Rating 2.0 fundamentally improves the flood insurance landscape with its modern risk-based, property specific and actuarily sound rating system. This new system is less complex and easier for agents to understand, which we anticipate will increase our salesforce and ultimately our capacity for more sales."

“Premiums will increase to the same level under Risk Rating 2.0 and the legacy rating system. Under both systems, it’s reasonable to expect that some policyholders will choose to drop their policies as premiums rise,” said David Maurstad, a senior executive of the National Flood Insurance Program. “The question is do we increase premiums equitably based on risk and replacement cost value or inequitably where low-value homes and less risky homes continue to subsidize higher risk and higher value homes.”

Asked about a complaint about the lack of specific information on mitigation measures, a FEMA spokesperson said:

"There are mitigation actions a property owner can take to lower their rate. Properly elevating your machinery and equipment covered under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy mitigates some of your risk and can save you up to 5% on your premium. Having or introducing flood openings that would allow the potential floodwaters to exit the building also helps mitigate some of your risk and can save money as well.

"The amount varies depending on the unique characteristics of your home. For example, a building with a 5-foot crawlspace would save around 5% on their premium. Elevating your building also helps mitigate the risk and can lower your premium. For instance, elevating your building from 0 feet to 5 feet off the ground can save 34% on the premium. For full factors, please see Appendix D: Rating Factors at the following webpage under 'Technical Documents': Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action | FEMA.gov.

"A list of mitigation discounts can be found on page 3 • 27 of the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual: Current Flood Insurance Manuals | FEMA.gov. Before undertaking any mitigation actions, property owners are encouraged to consult with their community floodplain manager and insurer to discuss the various mitigation options and the impacts on community compliance and insurance premiums.

"Communities can also lower flood risk and policyholders’ premiums by participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) program or improving their CRS community classification status. FEMA encourages communities to share information about potential mitigation options — such as elevating machinery and equipment, utilizing flood openings and elevating current and future structures — with policyholders."

Source here
Posted in In the News, News
Dec. 14, 2021

Mirambell Realty Welcomes Imari Francois!

Mirambell Realty is excited to announce that Imari Francois has joined the MBell Family! We are thrilled to have her here as part of our team!

Posted in In the News, News
Oct. 27, 2021

Craig Mirambell - 12 Top Real Estate Influencers

Congratulations to our broker, Craig Mirambell, for being recognized as a Top 12 Real Estate Influencer. Read more below to see how Craig has adapted during the pandemic and where he sees the future of real estate post Covid-19. 

Mirambell Realty is a technology-driven real estate brokerage servicing Metro New Orleans all the way to the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. The company prides itself on representing buyers and sellers by utilizing advanced technology and creative marketing.

What is the biggest challenge facing your industry in this new normal and how are you adapting?

COVID-19 has played a part in all of our real estate transactions. At Mirambell Realty, we have been using 3D virtual tours for almost 10 years now, so our advertising practices haven’t changed much with the pandemic, though our clicks on these tours have more than doubled during the pandemic. The biggest issue facing our industry in New Orleans isn’t COVID-19, though, it’s inventory! There are two reasons inventory is so low in our market. First, interest rates are at historic lows. Second, this pandemic has shifted many people’s way of thinking about their current home. After a long period of quarantine at home, many are now looking for homes with pools, or smaller or larger homes than they had before. Ultimately, our buyers are looking for something different, and they want it now.

What changes do you see in your industry in the next year?

In the next year, I expect the sales to slow down a bit. They won’t stop, but I would expect sales to return to pre-COVID-19 levels. I expect the buying fever we recently experienced to slow with upcoming elections followed immediately by the holidays, but as long as interest rates stay low, as expected, buyers will still keep this market churning.

Posted in In the News, News