The last few listings I have had, have been a wild ride. I have listed homes with a postponed show date and agents lined up to submit a contract. Is this really a reflection of the Houston market? Depends on from which angle you are gazing.
Location seems to be the ticket now a days, and with a mix of short supply and high demand, things seem a bit off balanced in our market. People are moving faster than usual on a contract, certain areas are hot commodities, and those who want to buy a place here are determined to do so even if it means paying over appraised values.
In the last 5 months I have had 2 homes sell within a day of listing. This, of course, means contracts were submitted on the first day of listings and later the home sold at an all time high. The listings were in a very popular area, the Museum District, but the prices didn’t really seem very high to begin. So, is the Houston market catching up with the lag in prices we have had over the course of many years?
I have to scratch my head and ask if Houston’s prices are just now catching up to match prices in other major cities. I come from the east coast and Houston has always been viewed as a “cheaper” place to live. But now, as Houston makes it’s mark as a leading city to live, the top healthiest city in the country, and one of the leading capitals in the world for healthcare and oil, I would say Houston prices are soaring.
Not only is our market reflective of the simply supply and demand law, but it also leads one to believe that Houston has been so low for so long, compared to other big cities, that its finally making a correction. For several years, we have had a mad dash of people headed here for jobs. Now that we are listed as a #1 city, in many categories, we have a backlog with inventory levels, which is causing a scramble when an appealing listing comes to market.
It is important to find areas of Houston that have not been tapped. I have a listing that sits literally on the border of Piney Point Village and Houston. Still, the prices are not rising because it is a hidden property and you have to know it is there to find it. In fact, I have some agents who don’t look there because they don’t know about it. Also, outside agents have been selling units in this community over the course of 10 years by using the last comp. Without a clear understanding that real estate can never remain flat, and indeed it is a precious commodity, prices are forced down. I am seeing this happen because I live in the community and agents have been underselling the units.
For $135,000, you can have a 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo in a gated community (Deerwood Gardens – 77063) that is newly renovated. It is next to City Centre, Memorial City, Energy Corridor, and of course, close to the Galleria. I have to ask myself how this can still exist in the #1 city in the country. This unit would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in any other major city, considering it’s location and the quality of the interior.
So, getting back to Houston’s real estate market. It depends on where you are and where you are looking. There are still deals out there but you have to have someone in the know to work with, who understands value vs risk. These are the real deals right now. It’s like taking candy from a baby.
by Michele Marano 713-899-8420
Champions Real Estate