New Orleans Holds Auction to Boost Housing Opportunities – NMP Skip to main content

New Orleans Holds Auction to Boost Housing Opportunities

Phil Hall
Mar 11, 2015

As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the New Orleans city government is seeking to revitalize its still-damaged housing market by auctioning off nearly 1,800 vacant properties at bargain prices. However, this process might be fraught with legal complications.

According to a Bloomberg report, the city has posted an online listing of 1,786 properties that the city seized after the owners failed to pay their property taxes. Ninety percent of these properties are vacant lots, and most of the auctions will begin at $3,000.

But there is a catch: prospective buyers would need to pay $650 in advance to cover the costs of tracking down and informing the delinquent property owner that their land is being auctioned off. Although New Orleans is promising to throw in title insurance as an incentive to push the sales, buyers face the prospect of the return of the property’s previous owner with claims of ownership.

Since the auction began on Friday, 300 properties attracted bidders within the first 48 hours of their listing.

New Orleans’ housing market has distinctive features and significant problems. Last December, the report “For Rent: Unsafe, Overpriced Home for the Holidays,” published by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, determined that 55 percent of the city’s housing stock was composed of rental units, but many of these suffered from major hazards ranging from the lack of working bathrooms to rodent infestation.

“The substandard conditions of these units affect the families who live in them but also contribute to neighborhood blight, affecting homeowners’ property values and the quality of life overall,” the report stated. “The City’s code enforcement process rarely offers relief, as all of its efforts are directed at vacant, blighted homes instead. Because of rising housing costs and the lack of code enforcement, renters often face an impossible choice: When they move, renters run the risk of being unable to find safe, decent housing they can afford. If they stay, they risk their health and the health of their families.”

But homeownership is also a problem in the city. The New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors reported that the price of a fixer-upper jumped 40 percent last year. Alexandra Miller, deputy director of the nonprofit Crescent City Community Land Trust, also faulted the city in an op-ed column published this week for not setting aside a percentage of auctioned property for use in affordable housing development.

Still, the city is confident the auction will change the face of local homeownership.

“The fundamental purpose is to put the properties back into commerce,” says Norman Foster, Director of Finance for the City of New Orleans. “The city is doing well, people are coming back, and we want these properties generating taxes that serve as the foundation for how we pay for public services.”

Mar 11, 2015
Chairman Xu Sells Off Personal Assets To Avoid Default

The Evergrande saga continues as Chairman Xu Jiayin sells off 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) of his personal assets to prop up the deflating property giant.

Industry News
Nov 23, 2021
OptiFunder Secures $25 Million In Capital

OptiFunder, a warehouse management system provider for mortgage originators, raised $25 million in additional capital lead by Arthur Ventures, a growth capital firm focused on high-growth, founder-led and capital efficient B2B software companies.

Nov 23, 2021
Mortgage Company Donates $100K To High School In Memory Of Fallen U.S. Navy Corpsman

Cleveland-based CrossCountry Mortgage donated $100,000 to Milan Edison High School in memory of U.S. Navy Corpsman, Maxton W. Soviak, who died while assisting in the evacuation of Americans and refugees in Afghanistan in August.

Nov 23, 2021
MISMO Seeks To Standardize Pre-Closing Title Data

Forming workgroup to focus on standardizing document datasets to streamline process and increase efficiency.

Industry News
Nov 23, 2021
Pandemic's Impact On Real Estate Around The World

Although the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the real estate industry has been well-documented within the United States, it’d be prudent to know how the global event impacted other countries as well. 

Industry News
Nov 22, 2021
Housing Market Potential Strengthens Modestly

First American Financial Corporation's Potential Home Sales Model for October 2021 reported that potential existing-home sales increased 0.1% month-over-month to 6.27 million, with household formation continuing to grow, largely driven by millennials.

Analysis and Data
Nov 22, 2021