Texas oil is big in the “good old” lone star state. But the real estate market in Texas is just as big as oil these days. Or perhaps bigger than oil. Houston real estate sales are booming.
That assessment depends on who you talk with.
Houston Real Estate Sales on Fire
Real estate sales in Houston are on fire, burning up the city and the greater Houston area with steady sales as buyers continue to take advantage of lower interest rates following the nation’s coronavirus pandemic.
It’s the wild, wild, west out here in Houston’s Bayou’s city housing market. Houses are selling quick as an eye blink. The voluminous real estate sales are driven in part by record low mortgage rates.
How long the cheaper mortgage rates last is anyone’s guess. Investors, including consumers purchasing a second house and with super-rich Wall Street firms in on the action of buying more homes, intensifies the competition.
“The Houston market is not just hot. It’s on fire; we have too many buyers chasing too few listings,” said Richard Miranda, Chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors, in an interview with local KPRC Channel 2 reporter Bill Spencer.
According to Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) the latest market update of single-family home sales were up 3.6 percent compared to last June, whereby, 10,638 units sold versus 9,362. These figures represent the market’s thirteenth consecutive positive month of sales.
Sales Volume and Speed
During May alone, Houston-area homes spent approximately 29 days on the market, a 28 day decrease from June 2020.
“The good news from Houston, the negative impact from the energy decline was made up for in the strong surge in demand mainly from the pandemic effect,” said Jim Gaines, in a Houston Chronicle article. Gaines is a research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
This past May netted almost a 50 percent increase in sales volume compared to the same month last year when the coronavirus rocked the real estate industry. Homes priced up to and above $750,000 led the sales volume with a 136.5 percent year-over-year increase. On National average, sales of new single-family homes as of June 2021 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We’re seeing a big uptick in single-family rental homes,” Gaines stated.
“You don’t find too many people buying $2 million homes and converting them to rent.” But, Gaines added, “You find a lot of people buying $200,000 homes to rent them out.”
Since the coronavirus lockdown, people find solace within the confines of their homes because the coronovarius forced more Americans to spend more time at home.
Extra high-dollar luxury homes dominated the Houston market in June. These homes priced at or above $750,000, saw a 136.5 percent increase in sales.
Homes priced $500,000 – $749,999, saw an 87 percent increase, and homes priced $250,000-$499,999, saw a 25 percent increase in sales.
Total property sales in May 2020 reached 7,781. Comparatively, this year in May 2021, 12, 100 properties sold.
Greater Houston Area Home Sales in 2021
|Market Area||# Transactions||Av. Sales Price|
|Humble Area South||8||$155,719|
|Medical Center South||451||$198,471|
|Humble Area West||168||$207,034|
|1960/Cypress Creek South||302||$213,702|
|Humble Area East||245||$231,852|
|Bear Creek South||721||$235,621|
|Katy – North||774||$251,094|
|Mission Bend Area||350||$257,170|
|Downtown – Houston||1||$257,710|
|Missouri City Area||704||$267,379|
|Porter/New Caney East||387||$276,036|
|Porter/New Caney West||258||$282,095|
|1960/Cypress Creek North||160||$286,523|
|Fort Bend South/Richmond||833||$294,501|
|East End Revitalized||249||$313,956|
|Medical Center Area||80||$340,812|
|Clear Lake Area||561||$352,286|
|Oak Forest West Area||140||$354,656|
|Sugar Land East||97||$354,726|
|Fort Bend County North/Richmond||1036||$355,215|
|Sugar Land North||219||$358,928|
|Lake Conroe Area||1214||$362,984|
|Katy – Old Towne||631||$363,003|
|Montgomery County Northwest||59||$366,235|
|Willow Meadows Area||83||$371,680|
|Fall Creek Area||101||$381,427|
|Katy – Southeast||671||$394,122|
|Shepherd Park Plaza Area||99||$404,285|
|Fort Bend Southeast||30||$419,167|
|Sugar Land West||574||$427,086|
|Katy – Southwest||1468||$443,899|
|Midtown – Houston||45||$494,671|
|Rice Military/Washington Corridor||208||$521,344|
|Sugar Land South||368||$551,148|
|Oak Forest East Area||244||$586,662|
|River Oaks Shopping Area||54||$802,804|
|Royden Oaks/Afton Oaks||28||$1,467,277|
|West University/Southside Area||187||$1,469,215|
|Memorial Close In||17||$1,703,719|
|River Oaks Area||79||$3,141,883|
|Source: Houston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS)|
As expected there are slightly different takes on what’s really fueling this real estate boom in the Bayou city of Houston and what we can expect before this year ends.
Speaking as an expert in Houston’s Outsmartmagazine.com, realtor Becky Wheeler said the Coronavirus pandemic was definitely challenging but that her business gradually increased.
“Technology has made things easy for me to market my listings online. The hottest selling homes right now are those with a great patio or outdoor space.” Home-office space is in demand as well, Wheeler explains.
Realtor Brooks Ballard, also speaking in Outsmart, said, “that sales are up in different markets and price points, and a lot of it is attributed to people seeing the stability in owning a home.” Ballard said the lower interest rates allow for the purchase of a larger home with a home office or more green space.
Realtor David Batagower told Outsmart, “Record low interest rates increased the purchasing power for many home buyers and a surge of buyers relocating to Houston from both the east and west coasts where $1million is ‘entry level’ in some of those(limited)markets.”
Batagower, explaining the differences in real estate markets in different states, says the same $1 million “gets you into the luxury market in many parts of Houston.”
Real estate agent Johnna Little says, “We’ve got people flocking here from California and other areas just because our housing is so affordable.” Little proudly recalls she sold a California woman a 3-bedroom, two-bath, renovated house with a pool for $191,500. “She was very happy.”
Here are the top 20 Houston real estate agents, according to Homelight.
Buying a Home in Houston
Nick and Aly O’ Neal, sired a child while paying top dollars to rent an apartment. The couple’s big dream besides having a child was to own their home.
The O’Neals are one couple out of thousands in a nationwide real estate boom that’s making Houston a perfect spot to find a luxury home for less interest rates, homes that sell for more than the asking price.
Then, suddenly, the O’Neals received an email alert about a new home that fit their budget and was listed on Sugarland on Har.com.
According to a Houston Chronicle article published on April 19, 2021 the O’Neal couple toured the home on Thursday and decided they liked the place. So, their offer for the home surpassed the original price of $255,000. Once the bidding war settled the O’Neals moved into the luxury Sugar Land home.
“To be in the game, you have to play in the game,” said Nick O’ Neal, in the Chronicle.
Here is a link which guides consumers step-by-step to buying a home in the Houston area: https://www.houstonproperties.com/home-guide/home-buying-process
According to Houston Properties.Com, Houston’s most exclusive places in the inner-loop of Houston to find a home and live are the following spots:
- Afton Oaks / Royden Oaks
- Braeswood Place
- Briar Hollow
- Cottage Grove
- Downtown Houston
- Houston Heights
- Greenway Plaza
- Timbergrove / Lazybrook
- Medical Center
- Memorial Center
- Memorial Park
- Rice Military
- Rice / Museum District
- River Oaks
- River Oaks Shopping Area
- Upper Kirby
- West University
- East Downtown Houston
Real estate agent Thurayah McBride of the McBride Home Group shares valuable advice on Houston real estate sales with potential homebuyers.
“If you want to greatly improve your chances of getting the house you want; ‘tip number one would be to write a pretty strong offer to the seller, assuring the seller, that you the client, can close on time, and that you can close faster than any other interested clients,” Thurayah told KPRC TV reporter Bill Spencer.
“The Houston housing market is in overdrive right now, and we know anecdotally that out-of-town investors have contributed to the frenzy,” said Chairman Richard Miranda.
Miranda continued. “We saw similar investment activity following Hurricane Harvey, and within a few months, the market stabilized. We expect stability to return this time around, so anyone in the market for a home who is frustrated by current market conditions needs to be patient.”
Newsblaze Finance & Business Writer Clarence Walker can be reached at: [email protected]