Latter & Blum Logo LA's Luxury Living NOVEMBER
2020
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The Sanctuary: Louisiana's Premiere Luxury Neighborhood

The Sanctuary subdivision–located in Mandeville, Louisiana–lives up to its name in more ways than one. Set on 1,170 acres of beautiful Louisiana land, the Sanctuary is a carefully designed masterpiece of a neighborhood that fully expresses the potential of beauty and serenity in modern day living. Nature abounds its streets with full magnolias, towering pines, ancient oaks, and abundant wildlife, as it is surrounded by 700 acres of natural wetlands, set aside by the Developers. Its strategic placement on the West Causeway Approach also gives Sanctuary residents almost immediate access to the causeway bridge that leads to New Orleans. 

But in these strange times, what does the real estate market look like in one of Louisiana’s most coveted neighborhoods? Let’s take a look inside the Sanctuary. 

After traveling through the guard gate, you will be met with the scenic views of Sanctuary Drive, a street lined with forestry, landscaped lawns, and architectural feats. After heading down far enough, you will see Cardinal Lane, where a home’s asking price was recently reduced from $5,500,000. It is still currently for sale and boasts over 15,000 total square feet and too many architectural features to count. It is one of many like it in the neighborhood, a place where salt water pools, personal gyms, and full suite guesthouses are not an uncommon. 

Luxury living in the Sanctuary.

As far as design goes, there is a wide range of styles, from classical to contemporary and everything in between. While one home might feature neoclassical ionic columns, a grand staircase, and a chandelier of crystal at its front door entryway, its neighbor might prefer a more modern look, with shear white walls, large windows, and a spacious open floor plan. Though they may differ in style, what they all have in common is there over $1,000,000 price tag. Let’s take a look at the market trend between price and square footage.

The scattergram above shows the relationship between pricing and square footage, each singular shape representing one home that has come on or off the market in the passed year. The red trend line that runs through indicates fair market value. One shocking note is the majority of homes are over 4,000 square feet and sold for a starting price of around $1,000,000.

Around this area, the indicated trend line is a great place to start, but the higher square footage and price we go, the trickier things become. It is hard to develop a trend when homes’ prices per square foot starts at $100 and goes all the way up to $450. How can there be such a gap?

As always, condition and features/amenities play a significant factor into what a home is worth as well, especially in a luxury neighborhood such as The Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is known for cutting edge designs and incredible architectural features, creating the feel of an estate or luxury villa in many of their unique properties. No detail is overlooked, and design certainly ups the price. The Sanctuary is an architectural playground, where Southeast Louisiana’s very best home designers strive to outdo one another, packing every single square foot and landscaped area with opulence and seclusion. That is how you end up with a 6,000sf home with a $2,200,000 asking. 

Chart, bar chart

Description automatically generated Trend of home sales in The Sanctuary. 

But as you can see here, with higher price points comes lower inventory, and the Sanctuary does not have as great a frequency of sales as other neighborhoods. In fact, the average time before a closing is 205 days. The higher the price, the longer it typically sits, with some listings staying on the market for one to two years.

That being said, the pace has only increased since the onset of Covid-19 and shutdowns; if people have to stay at home, they’re going to want home to be nice. As CNBC’s Diana Olick reports, “Now that more Americans can work and attend school from anywhere, they are increasingly looking to leave large urban centers for smaller, less dense cities with cheaper housing.”

Of course, The Sanctuary is not “cheaper housing” by any stretch, with the average home price coming in over $1,000,000, though it is interesting to compare its buying/selling patterns to million dollar homes in opulent areas of New Orleans–say for example, the Uptown and Lower Garden District areas. 

Here we see the trend for the above described area. The two areas–Uptown and the Sanctuary–are vastly different, with fair market value coming in right around $330/sf for the Uptown area, and $200/sf for the Sanctuary. Though Uptown and the Lower Garden District are rich with history and culture, they are also much more densely packed than the acre lots in the Sanctuary. Uptown and Lower Garden are both historic areas, and generally speaking their mansions not going to be new constructions. Rather, they will be gut jobs or full home renovations (of course, there are always exceptions). Precisely the opposite is true with the Sanctuary, where many lots are still available for purchase and development. Judging by the market trends indicated here, it would appear if you are looking for a more savvy investment for your luxury estate, the Sanctuary is not a bad bet.

A good sign for buyers, home sales are slowing and listings are rising, returning little by little the negotiating power to the buyer. That being said, whatever negotiating advantage the sellers have possessed for the past seven months are nearly irrelevant due to the record low interest rates, which the Federal Reserve has yet again just announced are staying low. 

If you want to see a personal property tour of a $2,950,000 home in the Sanctuary, click the link below and enjoy! Also, if you would like a market report for your personal neighborhood, call, text, or email me and I will be happy to deliver one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q1inmNGph0&t=1s

Garrett Shearman »
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Garrett Shearman Cell
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