The French Quarter Condo market is doing very well. Sales may slowed down somewhat as there are not that many things for sale as compared to last year. The inventory is 50% of what it was last year this time. I would say the best deals were to be had last August and September as the Summer was ending. Sellers are now more likely pricing the condos better and the buyers just have to make decisions quicker or the condos will be gone.
The French Quarter has been crowded almost every weekend this year. Many people have been thinking about a second home and many are deciding now is the time. Many are local people which does come as a somewhat surprise. They are looking for a get away place for themselves and friends. Others are thinking about retiring and spending more time in New Orleans. Others have always wanted a place here and feel this is the time to make the jump.
Pricing has always been tough in the French Quarter since you have a lot of variables. Many sellers think there condos are worth more than they paid regardless of the market condition. Some may not really want to sell. Others however need to sell. The conditions will vary greatly from one unit to the next. The location within the quarter is big, the location within the complex is also large, second floor units tend to get more, balconies to the street get much more, balconies to a courtyard get more than those that have none.
This makes the square footage method of valuing a lot harder for people to decifer. Most will not have parking so that is not a huge issue. If one does have parking its worth at least 30k-40k . The area is too old for most things to have parking.
Right now there are 85 units for sale. There are 21 condos under contract. Most close in 45 days so you can see the recent activity. The ultra small units tend to be out of favor. There are 22 units below 200k and many of these have been sitting. Its the nice things that have been selling that have what people want in all price ranges. Light and airy tops with windows and amenities in the complex. Most want things fixed up and done nicely and will pay for it. Few buyers want a project.
However some properties that need fixing can be great if they have all the other things that people want. Great views, balconies, high ceilings, open spaces and in a nice complex. I end up selling a couple of these per year and the buyers end up with some nice buys. The common thread is that they all tend to put a lot of effort and quality in the upgrade. These are all second home people that know what they want and have time and want to do it their way.
It does always surprise people when you can get the best units down to 4 or 5 units before showing them. Just not that many more to show in any given category. The other tip is to keep an eye in those that are overpriced as many will end up selling at good prices over time. As an agent we have our best picks and they do tend to sell. Recently I showed a client 6 properties and the four top units sold within 3 weeks after I showed her. The fourth took 3 more weeks and she has had but one new thing to consider in the last 8 weeks.
Last week the French Quarter Tour only had two new properties to look at. The agents view the new listings every Tuesday so they can look at the inventory to see what looks good and what their clients may like. This saves us time, gets us a free lunch, and the sellers gets a lot of looks quickly as it comes on the market. If it looks good the agent will get in touch with his or her client to let them know if its for them.