Report: Apartment occupancy, rents stable in NOLA

By: Robin Shannon, Reporter November 6, 2014

The latest semiannual report on apartment occupancy shows the New Orleans market is maintaining equilibrium between supply and demand as average rental rates and availability have remained virtually unchanged since the spring.

The fall edition of the Greater New Orleans Multi-Family Report keeps tabs on more than 300 rental communities and lists the average rent for apartments in the region at $919 as of October, just a $10 increase from April. The figure includes studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

Total occupancy across the eight markets covered in the report was 94 percent, same as the spring.

The most expensive units and most popular are in the Historic Center, which includes the French Quarter, Warehouse District, St. Charles Avenue, Mid-City and downtown. The average rent was $1,416 and occupancy was at 95 percent. When compared with the spring figures, rents in the submarket increased by $37 per month.

The lowest rates in the area were in Eastern New Orleans, where the average rent was $706, virtually unchanged from the spring. Occupancy in that submarket increased from 91 percent to 94 percent.

The only submarket in the New Orleans area with occupancy below 90 percent was Kenner, where 83 percent of the units were rented at a rate of $827 per month. The occupancy rate is down from 84 percent in the spring, and rents were nearly unchanged.

The report notes that much of the new construction activity is happening within the Historic Center, where 752 new units are expected to hit the market in the next 12 to 18 months:

• The Domain Cos. is poised to open 209 units in the Paramount building at South Market District;

• HRI Properties will add 192 units in the spring at 225 Baronne;

• Kailas Cos. will bring 260 new units in a project at 210 Baronne in 2015; and

• Belmont Commons is adding a second phase to its building at 925 Common St. late next year, which will have 91 units.

This past summer, developer Mike Wampold opened a 96-unit apartment building at 144 Elk Place, which is fully leased.

The only new development outside the downtown area is the Bella Ridge apartments in Harahan from Favrot and Shane. Its 264 units will go online in January.

The Greater New Orleans Multi-Family Report is a collaborative effort from The Multi-Family Advisory Group, an apartment industry consultant; the mortgage banking and real estate advisory firm Madderra & Cazalot; and Larry G. Schedler & Associates, a multifamily property brokerage.