Crime and exodus: Residents fleeing New Orleans

Crime and exodus
Photo credit Getty Images

A New Orleans real estate agent says crime is taking its toll on the housing market. Craig Mirambell is a real estate agent. He's also the secretary-treasurer of the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors. He says the market is heading into territory it's never seen before:

“This market’s been really different because there are homes that aren’t selling or sitting on the market longer than had been for the last three years, maybe 60-90-120 days.  But at the same time, there are other houses that pop up that are going multiple offers and over asking price.  Still it’s an oddity we haven’t seen before.”

Worse, Mirambell says crime is taking its toll on the market as longtime residents of Orleans Parish are abandoning the city and heading to the suburbs.

“The crime that we’re seeing in New Orleans has caught up with the housing market as well.  But it was a majority of people saying they would never move.  This last year or two, we’ve seen flocks of people leaving certain parts of New Orleans and it’s happening now on a more consistent basis.”

Mirambell says longtime residents are becoming desperate to sell their properties and leave New Orleans because the crime situation has made it impossible for them to stay and feel safe.

“It’s disappointing just to hear people with the desperation in their voice when they call us and say ‘I gotta sell my house, I love it, I love New Orleans, but I gotta move, I gotta move.’  They’re not necessarily moving out of the state, but they are moving out of the parish.”

Mirambell says the market is having enough problems with high lending rates, taxes, home and flood insurance coverage, and more.  But the specter of crime is really driving long term residents out of the parish for quieter, calmer, suburban settings.

“You can’t let your kids play in the street in some areas right now.  We see a lot of parents and home owners and it’s a shame.  That needs to be corrected, too.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images