Known for its diverse culture and fair cost of living, Houston, Texas is a flourishing community with much to offer its residents. While Houston is known for its affordability when compared to other metropolitan areas,
Home sales in Houston continue to rise for the tenth consecutive month, largely due to the ease of pandemic restrictions put in place early last year. Overall, home sales are 16.9% ahead of this time in 2020. Those priced between $500,000 and $750,000 saw the highest number of sales at a 96.8% year-over-year increase since March 2020. Following closely behind, sales of luxury homes priced at $750,000 and above increased by 89.9%.
According to the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) Chairman, Richard Miranda, “Several overlapping market forces propelled us to a strong finish in March, between a lack of low-to-mid-range housing and aggressive high-end buying by consumers taking advantage of historically low interest rates.” All-in-all, single-family home and total property sales, along with total dollar volume, all increased year-over-year.
On average, single-family home prices reached a record high, increasing 19.9% to $370,847.
Why Buy Now?
There is no shortage of experiences or amenities to enjoy in the Houston area. Several pro sports teams, universities, parks and recreation areas, among many others, offer residents a plethora of things to see, do and experience. Houston also holds many options for those seeking employment, especially during the slow job market, as it is the home to MD Anderson, is a major hub for United Airlines, and is the inception location for many startups. These opportunities combined with the lower cost of living make Houston a thriving location for both budding families and flourishing singles.
Residential life aside, you should think about buying now because interest rates are still at an all-time low. While this trend won’t last forever, if you’re looking to relocate for work or find a new location to raise your family, it would be worthwhile to take advantage of these rates while you still can.
What to Prepare for
Just like in most metro areas across the country, a shortage of listings means buyers should prepare for a potential challenge in purchasing their dream home. In fact, according to the HAR, “A 5.8% year-over-year decline in new listings combined with another strong month of sales drove single-family homes inventory down to a 1.4-months supply compared to 3.4 months a year earlier.” As a result, many buyers are coming in offering thousands over the asking price, so it’s important to budget and plan accordingly.
Homes in the Houston area are selling much more quickly than usual; due to the low inventory, coupled with low interest rates, it’s a hectic time to be a buyer. Currently, compared year-over-year, the average days-on-market fell from 65 to 45, meaning homes are being listed and sold in under two months.
Advice to Handle the Market
To cope with the shortage of listings in the $250,000 and under threshold, some experts have recommended looking for homes at the lower end of your price range to allow the flexibility to offer more down initially. It might mean you wind up with more of a “fixer upper” than you’d like, but could also mean you save on overall costs. (Hint: depending on what your dream amenities are, you may very well be able to DIY them!) It may also be worthwhile to bulk up your purchase offer by writing in terms that show flexibility in your timeframe, if you have any.
At least for now, prepare to able to act quickly when your dream home becomes available. Do your research now, have your finances like pre-approvals, credit reports and down payment options in order, and stay in consistent communication with your agent.
If you don’t have an agent, here’s a list of Houston agents ready to help you get into your dream home!