As America and the rest of the world gears up for Super Bowl 47 on February 3rd, 2013, realtors in New Orleans are looking forward to the exposure and lift to the housing market. It is the 10th time New Orleans will be hosting the Super Bowl, but the first since Hurricane Katrina hit in late August of 2005.
Post-Hurricane Katrina, the city and the housing market have been in a recovery mode, and there is strong optimism that it will continue this path in 2013 - particularly with the biggest event this year being held in New Orleans.
As indicated in the infographic below, cities who have hosted the Super Bowl in previous years have seen a great economic impact from the event. New Orleans is also likely to reap the economic benefits of being the 'host city' this year, and signs are showing a strong recovery in the housing market and economy at large. The city's popularity and recent recognition speaks for itself.
New Orleans Sets Big Records
New Orleans has a lot going for it. It was even deemed the fastest-growing large city in the country between 2010 and 2011 according to the U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov. The metro area now has approximately 1.19 million residents, or 90% of its pre-Katrina 2000 population. In February 2011, Forbes Magazine named New Orleans the #1 city in the country for "Brain Gain," noting that the city gained roughly 36,666 residents with college degrees within the past two years.
Super Bowl Impact on New Orleans Real Estate
New Orleans realtors are hoping to see a Super Bowl boost in home sales from the added exposure. The 2012 Super Bowl between the winning New York Giants over the New England Patriots generated the largest U.S. audience of any broadcast in American history at an estimated 111.3 million viewers. The last three Super Bowls and the 1983 final episode of “M*A*S*H” are the only programs in U.S. television history to exceed 100 million viewers.
According to Realtor.com, the average listing price for a housing unit in the New Orleans metro area was $173,900 in October 2012, which was generally flat from a year ago (-.034%). However, the market has absorbed some housing inventory. There were 13.8% less units on the market compared to a year earlier, and the time on market was reduced by 7.2% versus a year earlier.
All in all, the New Orleans area has weathered the recession relatively well. Perhaps it was the perils of Hurricane Katrina, but from June 2008 until June 2012, the New Orleans metro area saw just a .01% decline in jobs compared to a national mark of 3%.
“The foreclosure rate in New Orleans is remarkably low”, according to Ms. Allison Plyer, Deputy Director and Chief Demographer of the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center (G.N.O.C.D.C.). “It’s because most of the so-called ‘bad loans’ were issued in 2005 and 2006, which was just post-Katrina, and lenders weren’t doing those kinds of loans after the hurricane."
See the infographic below for Houses.com's prediction of the housing market in New Orleans after the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Housing Market Report by Realtors
Ms. Claudette Reuther, President of the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors (N.O.M.A.R.) weighed in on the topic. “People that were forced to move out of the city after the hurricane are coming back, because they missed New Orleans. And people who came to help with the cleanup wanted to move here, too. That’s because New Orleans is a very unique city, with great food, music and diversity. And what you get for $175,000 represents a great value. You can get a great home in a nice subdivision with nice landscaping, and it would cost $300,000 to $400,000 in other areas. It’s very encouraging, especially for young professional moving into their first home,” Ms. Reuther continued.
Realtors are reporting an uptick in inquiries and referrals, especially for rental properties. Many New Orleans residents are putting their homes into the short-term rental market in the hopes of getting a corporate rental for a week or two during the Super Bowl timeframe for top dollar. The exposure that the Super Bowl creates for a host city like New Orleans is priceless.
From a real estate perspective in the French Quarter, Mr. Richard Jeansonne of French Quarter Realty sees it as well, but in a more subtle tone. “It’s certainly great for the restaurants, bars, retail stores and things like that. We may see a sale or two from the Super Bowl on an impulse buy, but most people really like to do their homework and maybe those people will come back in six months to buy,” Mr. Jeansonne explained.
But the Super Bowl brings hope to a city that has had its share of bad luck.
After the Katrina disaster, the area had to handle the onset of the economic recession in 2008, and a couple years later, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Scoring Big - New Orleans on the Rise
New Orleans sees a lot of positive things on the horizon. The Hospital Corridor that’s taking place near downtown is creating many different construction projects. There are a lot of older, pre-1900 homes that are being carefully lifted and relocated to vacant land or swapped land nearby, and are being painstakingly restored. It adds a great vibrancy to the area between Canal Street and Tulane University, and there are a lot of college and graduate students who are settling down after graduation.
- Hospital Corridor
- Home Restoration Projects
- College and Graduat Students
That certainly bears itself out in statistics. Blight in New Orleans is declining rapidly, down from 65,428 blighted residential addresses in March of 2008 to approximately 35,700 in March 2012, according to the G.N.O.D.C.
Another recent recognition was given to New Orleans by Travel and Leisure (T+L) magazine. T+L ranked New Orleans America’s favorite overall city in 2012, with survey respondents ranking the Crescent City tops among 35 cities across the U.S. in 66 different categories. New Orleans ranked number one in several different categories, including:
- Live music/concerts and bands
- Wild weekends
- Cocktail hour
- Singles/bar scene
- Fine-dining restaurants
- Friendliest people
- Antique stores
- Flea markets
That, along with the Super Bowl, other big college bowl games like the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the non-stop convention business should translate into an improved housing market.
New Orleans remains a one-of-a-kind original city, blending music, food, entertainment and its own form of Southern hospitality. With an unyielding spirit, the “Big Easy” appears to be on the brink of making a strong comeback, and with a little push from the Super Bowl, it could do just that.
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