Extremely low interest rates are one reason home prices in the New Orleans area are on the rise.
And, high-end properties appear to be extremely hot items.
"The old saying is 'the lower the interest rate, the higher the price'," says Gardner Realtor Sylvia Roy, whose office is on pricey St. Charles Avenue.
And, she's an expert on pricey properties in the Uptown and Garden Districts, which she says have done well since Hurricane Katrina because there was little flooding there.
Garden District homes are selling for up to $10 million. Uptown homes may go for more than $3 million, and $3 million homes in the French Quarter are not uncommon.
"People who have money...who want a certain address, or a certain type home or want to be in a certain area, are willing to pay for it." says Roy.
And, for those people, the low interest rates may not be a driving factor.
"A lot of these very expensive homes...people don't even need loans," says Roy. "The people who can afford a 10- or 12-million dollar house, they don't need the loans, in many instances."
Who are these people?
"Sometimes, it's lawyers who've had very good settlements. Sometimes it's just old money or new money...there is money here," Roy says. "And, people from California or other places come in and feel like we have pretty good prices. And, comparatively speaking, we do."
But, there aren't a lot of those ultra-high homes on the market. They tend to get snapped up pretty quickly.
"They have been moving quicker than in the past. There's a shortage of luxury homes, and that's one of the reasons."
"We do have more of them in the million to four million dollar category. And we've seen the ones above 500 thousand up to about 2 million move fairly quickly."
Locally, a luxury home is considered to be one at half a million-plus. However, Roy says it's all relative.
"A person who's looking at a home in the $2 million range might not think a $500,000 home was a luxury home."
And, of course, every real estate agent on earth knows the three most important things about real estate are location, location, and location.
In the New Orleans area, Roy says there are a number of prime spots.
"On St. Charles Avenue, the Garden District, Audubon Park, around Tulane University and the French Quarter.
Real estate in metro New Orleans, in general, appears to be making a strong recovery. According to Louisiana Realtors, the average number of houses sold per month in the area has risen from 764 in 2011 to 835 in 2012.