French Quarter Condos have been selling at a moderate pace the past 3 months. There are 125 New Orleans French Quarter condos currently for sale in the local MLS. Since June 1, 2008 there have been 36 sales of condos. Looking at the sales per month does not tell us much, so going back 3 months gives us a better idea of past sales. There are 20 units listed above 500k and 27 condos listed below 200k. You can see the bulk of the market is between 200-500k. The moderate pace far exceeds the sales in the same period a year ago. The trend looks good and could become better.
There was a new project at 1025 Bienville which had 8 units priced between 350k-700k. All the units are currently under contract. The condos were the Orleans Steel Mill condos. They are on the Canal Street side of the French Quarter. One of the common themes we are seeing is that people want units that are updated. They want something nice for the money or want that special location within the French Quarter.
Most of the sales are to second homers who want something nice. I sold three such units during this period and two were to local people who had always wanted a place in the French Quarter. Many are looking for condos with two bedrooms and two baths so they can invite friends to visit them in New Orleans on their visits. Many want units with nice views and balconies. Many want to be in a certain part of the French Quarter. Many do not want to be on the first floor.
Once you narrow your criteria down you will not have that many to look at. I recently did a search for condos in the 300-600k for 2/2 and came up with 6 units worth looking at. It tends to be this way, but we forget how hard it is to find the nicest unit.
You are going to have to pay over 400k for something nice with two bedrooms and two baths. If you want a one bedroom then you can get a balcony and on one of the premier streets in the Quarter. The weather has been hot during August and the Quarter should be a great visit as we move into October.
I would call it a Buyers Market in the area since sales were down in the 2 years since Katrina. But the interest and Buyers are way up from 2007. Most of condos are second homes and people sell for a variety of reasons, more having to do with their time and ability to visit. Its a hard area to price a condo so you will see many that are just priced too high for what they have to offer. There are no foreclosures that I know of and would expect few in this area.
Parking is always going to be an issue with parking. The good thing is you can visit for a week and never have to use your car. You can rent a spot at the French Market on a monthly contract basis for $125. Its a area that makes walking fun and I can guarantee you will see much more by walking. There is a photo worth saving in every block.