The answer, at least in part, is that they can't and they aren't. Instead, prices are being driven up by pressures from far beyond the city limits.
Say goodbye to authentic New Orleans. Gentrification on a national scale is rapidly remaking the landscape. The influx from America's urban alpha dogs:Not only is the source of income "untethered from the neighborhood," the fuel that's driving the cost of living in New Orleans is practically untethered from the entire region. And that fuel is based on a severe and static economic caste system. And most of you are on the short side of that.
"You trying to run us out of New Orleans," she said. "Out of here. You know we can't afford $287,000."Emphasis added. That's what I mean by gentrification on a national scale. Talent refined in New York City or Los Angeles will overwhelm parochial real estate such as the homes found in New Orleans. In essence, the source of income is untethered from neighborhood. Long-term residents don't have access to the high-paying jobs of a global labor market. Most people everywhere don't have that kind of opportunity.
That's what a nearby house recently sold for. High dollar for what Treme is used to, but cheap for people coming from Los Angeles or New York. And increasingly, real estate agent Eric Wilkinson said, people are.
"This is by far the most active the market's ever been, in at least the last decade," he said. "The most people moving to New Orleans, buying in New Orleans."
He says New Orleans has joined the "it" list, with cities like San Francisco and Austin, but cheaper. And those with fresh eyes have an advantage over natives.
"I mean, when you call a street Rampart, which literally means barrier, and people grow up thinking 'don't go across Rampart Street,'" he said. "Whereas people from out of town don't have those preconceived notions. It makes it easier for them to take the leap of faith."