New Orleans apartment market strong

Tourism, job creation and population growth are all positive in New Orleans at the moment, according to Hendricks & Partners.

Population growth was 2 percent in 2011, while unemployment was below the national average at 7 percent. Job growth is projected to be 3 percent this year and increase to 3.5 percent in 2013, adding further to demand for housing.

Apartments in particular are sought-after at the moment, Hendricks & Partners reports, with more than 3,300 new units either underway, planned or proposed. Of those, 900 are expected to be completed within two years, but the city's demand should outpace that increase in availability.

Rental property management firms may be able to raise rents further in the near future. Projections suggest average rent for the city as a whole will climb to $929 per month by late 2013, up from $880 in 2011. Less competitive submarkets have average rents as low as $724, but the metro area's best neighborhood boasts an average rent of $1,180.

Looking ahead to 2013, Hendricks & Partners anticipates the vacancy rate will drop to 4.9 percent in 2013, from a current level of 6.1 percent. The projection reflects confidence in the market's fundamentals and the limited supply being developed.