New Orleans a second home hot spot

Don Ames
June 14, 2018 - 8:07 am

New Orleans is one of the country's top markets for vacation, investment and second homes. 

The city comes in at #6 in a study by LendingTree. The online lending exchange based its finding on the percentage of non-owner occupied mortgages in the city. In New Orleans, that figure is 13.4 percent.  

"I suspect what they're picking up on is the amount of activity in the French Quarter, Bywater and Marigny where we've had a surge in demand partly attributable to second home buyers and vacation home buyers," says local real estate consultant, Wade Ragas

Ragas says New Orleans is still a relatively affordable place for second homes, especially compared to places like Miami, San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles. But he says it's still a very international city. 

"I thinks it helps to justify why flights from Europe are turning up here. The Canadian flights have stayed. And there's flight service now into Central America. I think that's partly a tangible sign of the surge in interest in the international market here."
 
But, he says the LendingTree study also speaks to the desirability of the city itself.  

"You do it because it's something you'll enjoy, and you hope that you can rent it enough to cover your operating expenses. And, then, that you also can rent it enough to make it a tax deductible item." 

However, he says a second home is rarely purchased to serve as a source of income. 

"It's a great investment. But, you do this because it's a place you enjoy. You like the ambiance of it. It's a place you go to rest."

According to the LendingTree study, there is a clear regional break. Cities with the most non-owner occupied properties were located in the South or the West while those with the least are in Northeast and Midwest.

The study says southern cities may be attracting investors due to low prices and growing populations. Many residents in Southern cities may not be able to access home ownership due to lower median salaries, creating a ready pool of renters.

Top 10 cities with non-owner occupied mortgages 
1. Oklahoma City 
2. Philadelphia 
3. Memphis, Tenn. 
4. Miami 
5. San Francisco 
6. New Orleans 
7. Las Vegas 
8. New York 
9. Los Angeles 
10. Riverside, Calif. 
 

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