3 Mistakes in a Seller’s Market

September 24, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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Most major markets across the country have experienced greater demand and shrinking inventory, creating a strong market for sellers to sell their homes quickly and for greater profits. If you’re selling your home, however, don’t let your advantage go to your head. Here are three blunders sellers commonly make during a sellers’ market:

1. Not pricing your home competitively

One of the most common mistakes you can make in a sellers’ market is overpricing your home. Sellers often look around at the listing prices of others homes and, due to their surprise at what others are asking and a fear of not getting every penny they can, they list their home too high.

However, failing to base your listing price on the selling price of comparable homes can have negative repercussions. First, and foremost, most buyers need to acquire a loan in order to purchase, so your home will need to appraise for the purchase price.

Secondly, in today’s real estate market, buyers have access to a lot of information and are comparing your home to more properties than ever before. Pricing your home too high can also cause it to sit on the market longer. When a home is on the market for, what in another market, would seem a reasonable period, buyers often ask the question: “What’s wrong with this home?”

2. Failing to prepare your home to go on the market

Sellers frequently look at minor maintenance and the tidiness of their home as small details that they shouldn’t need to worry about in a sellers’ market. Overlooking these details, however, can contribute to buyer’s lack of confidence in the home and a fear that the home may have larger issues that have not been addressed. This can have a huge impact on a buyer’s willingness to submit their best offer. Creating the best first impression can have a big impact on the types of offers you receive on your home.

3. Not taking the first offer seriously

In the often whirlwind process of selling a home during a sellers’ market, the idea that you shouldn’t consider the first offer is a common misconception. A seller asking a reasonable selling price can often receive a strong offer right away. But many think: “I got such a strong offer right away. If I wait, maybe I’ll get an even better one.”

However, there are several reasons to consider the first offer more carefully. Often times, those immediate offers are made by motivated buyers who’ve done their homework and have been waiting for the right property to come along. They know what they can afford and are realistic about what they’re going to have to pay to get what they want. While there are likely more people out looking for a property similar to yours, it’s not uncommon for the first offer to be the best offer. Also, even in a sellers’ market, a fresh listing can often benefit from greater negotiation power than a home that has been on the market for a while.

If you want to buy or sell a home in today’s real estate market, you need the skill and expertise of an experienced Realtor. Call me today for a free consultation.

Sincerely,

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JULY HOME SALES ACROSS HOUSTON REACH RECORD TERRITORY

August 19, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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Sales volume and pricing soar to new highs as pent-up demand from COVID-19 heats up Houston housing for a second straight month
HOUSTON — (August 12, 2020) — A continued surge in closings from homes that went under contract after the lifting of COVID-19 stay-at-home measures propelled Houston real estate into record territory in July – surpassing June’s stronger-than-expected performance. However, a dwindling supply of homes caused by the burst of homebuying and home sellers holding back amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis will make it difficult to keep up with the strong buyer demand.
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, 10,975 single-family homes sold in July compared to 8,921 a year earlier. That translated to a 23.0 percent increase. That is a record sales volume for a single month and marks the first time that figure has surpassed 10,000.
Homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 registered the greatest percentage increase, rocketing 51.9 percent compared to July 2019. The second-best performer was the luxury market – consisting of homes priced at $750,000 and above – which jumped 41.7 percent year-over-year.  Homes between $200,000 and $500,000, the range in which the largest number of homes sell, also saw substantial increases over last year.
The combined strength in the high-end and mid-range markets pulled average and median pricing up to historic levels. The single-family home median price rose 8.7 percent to $271,830 while the average price climbed 8.5 percent to $338,350. Year-to-date sales are now 2.7 percent ahead of 2019’s record pace.
Sales of all property types totaled 13,043 – another record high – up 25.0 percent from July 2019. Total dollar volume for the month leapt 33.8 percent to $4.1 billion. Consumers also sent lease properties into positive territory in July.
 “We are grateful for two consecutive months of strong activity across greater Houston, however we do not consider the current pace of home sales sustainable given the shrinking supply of homes and expect business to taper a bit this fall,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “Historically low interest rates make this an outstanding time to buy a home, but without the inventory, there unfortunately isn’t much out there for consumers.”
Lease Property Update
July leases of single-family homes rose 2.9 percent year-over-year while leases of townhomes and condominiums climbed 6.9 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 1.8 percent to $1,940 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was flat at $1,659.
July Monthly Market Comparison
Continued pent-up housing demand stemming from coronavirus-related stay-at-home directives in the spring led to a second straight month of surging sales in July that pushed the Houston housing market ahead of 2019’s record pace. Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose compared to July 2019. Pending sales shot up 33.9 percent. However, total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 19.4 percent.
With new listings trickling into the marketplace on top of the surge in sales, single-family homes inventory dwindled to a 3.0-month supply in July versus 4.2 months a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 4.0-months supply, according to the the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales soared 23.0 percent in July, with 10,975 units sold across greater Houston compared to 8,921 a year earlier. That is the greatest one-month sales volume of all time and represents the first time that figure has broken the 10,000-mark. On a year-to-date basis, sales are now running 2.7 percent ahead of last year’s record pace. Strong buying activity in the high end of the market drove pricing to historic levels. The single-family home median price rose 8.7 percent to $271,830 while the average price climbed 8.5 percent to $338,350.
Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up from 51 to 56. Inventory registered a 3.0-months supply compared to 4.2 months a year earlier and is below the current national inventory level of 4.0 months recently reported by NAR.
Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:
  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 20.2 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 29.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 13.4 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 37.1 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 51.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 41.7 percent

 

HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 8,989 in July, up 22.5 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price rose 9.1 percent to $332,795 while the median sales price jumped 10.9 percent to $265,000.

For the latest weekly report on housing market trends throughout the greater Houston area, please see the HAR Weekly Activity Snapshot for the week ending August 10, available HERE as a downloadable PDF file.
Townhouse/Condominium Update
After ending three straight months of declining sales in June, townhome and condominium sales were flat in July, registering 690 closed sales compared to 691 a year earlier. The average price rose 9.9 percent to $223,190 and the median price climbed 12.3 percent to $183,000. Inventory narrowed slightly from a 4.6-months supply to 4.3 months.
Houston Real Estate Highlights in July
  • Following a strong performance in June, single-family home sales soared into record-setting territory in July, leaping 23.0 percent year-over-year with 10,975 units sold – a record one-month sales volume;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes expanded from 51 to 56 days;
  • Total property sales soared 25.0 percent with a record-setting 13,043 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume shot up 33.8 percent to $4.1 billion;
  • The single-family home median price set a new record high of $271,830 as it rose 8.7 percent year-over year;
  • The single-family home average price jumped 8.5 percent to $338,350 – also an historic high;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.0-months supply, down from 4.2 months last July and below the national inventory level of 4.0 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales were flat, with the average price up 9.9 percent to $223,190 and the median price up 12.3 percent to $183,000;
  • Single-family home rentals rose 2.9 percent with the average rent up 1.8 percent to $1,940;
  • Townhome/condominium leases increased 6.9 percent with the average rent unchanged at $1,659.

What to Know About Buying a Home!

May 20, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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You found the home you want to buy, you made an offer, the seller accepted the offer, and you signed on the (contract’s) dotted line. At this pont you are in what’s typically called a “Sale Pending” status. So what happens next? While it can be difficult to be patient when all you can think about is when you’ll get those shiny new keys, there are a few more steps to take before you get to walk through your new home’s front door.

Steps in the Home-Buying Process

When you’re in a “Sale Pending” status it’s helpful to set your expectations. This is especially true if you’re a first-time homebuyer. You are embarking on an exciting new chapter in your life that inevitably makes it difficult to be patient. Now, however, is the time for patience as there are many things that still can go awry before you close this real estate transaction. But here is the good news: you’ll have many visits to the house you are buying to meet with your agent, inspectors, and more.

These are the 9 typical steps in a home-buying process. For all of these next steps, it helps to work closely with your real estate agent and take advantage of his or her knowledge and guidance.

1. Money Step

If you have not done so already, you want to get the money step over with immediately. This is crucial to being able to make more visits to your hopefully soon-to-be new home. This money step is the deposit you make to the seller that shows your good faith intention to buy the home. Your agent may refer to this deposit as earnest money, due diligence money, or the escrow deposit. Making this deposit also gives you the time you’ll need to arrange the mortgage and complete the other steps below. Bear in mind that you and the seller will need to agree to a timeframe when you make the deposit, though you can ask for an extension if needed to complete the remaining steps. Ask your agent for guidance on the best timeframe to set for you.

2. Documents Round-up

Most likely your agent has discussed the list of documents you need to provide to your lender, but typically they will include income and tax-related documents. Work with your lender to be sure you know everything they will need from you. You must gather these documents and provide them to your lender as quickly as possible. Moving fast here is important because getting lender approval can sometimes take a week or more and you want to be able to close on time, right?

3. Set Closing Date

If you are in a “sale pending” status, you and the seller, and your respective agents, will negotiate an agreed-upon closing date. In choosing a closing date, you’ll want to build in enough time to complete the lending process, consider availability of your lawyer (if you need one in your state), and try to find a date that’s close to your expected move-in date. Bear in mind that negotiating the closing date may also mean taking the seller’s contingencies into consideration, as they will need to be met before the closing date.

4. Inspection Time

The next big step is getting the home inspection scheduled. You will want to work with your real estate agent to set these dates. Try to schedule the appointment as soon as possible so that if issues arise as a result of the inspection, you’ll have time to address them in negotiations with the seller. Be sure the date you set is a day you can be at the house when the inspector is there. If you have concerns that you’d like the inspector to focus on, it’s a good idea to discuss those things ahead of the scheduled date.

5. Contractor References

Your real estate agent is a great resource for contractors. Now is a good time to get estimates on any changes you might want to make so you can factor those costs into your plans.

6. Appraisal Time

Ask your lender when the home will be appraised—getting this step completed early during the deposit timeframe will allow you to perhaps negotiate a better price if the home doesn’t appraise.

7. Negotiate Repairs

When you get the inspection report(s) back, this is your opportunity to negotiate repairs with the seller. You and the seller will work out whether the seller will make the repairs or provide you with a financial concession at closing so that you can pay your contractor to do the repairs.

8. Do a Jig

If all goes accordingly in the previous seven steps, it means your closing date has arrived, and you’ll get those keys. Time to celebrate.

9. Turn on the Lights

One last thing to do before your move-in date arrives is to set up your utilities. The seller’s agent is often the best person to ask about local providers for electricity, gas, water, cable, and internet.

A SHOUTOUT to everyone who is trying right now

April 3, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER!

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The Top 10 RED FLAGS that Send Buyers Running to The Nearest Exit

March 18, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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WOMEN IN REAL ESTATE | WRITTEN BY CAROLINE CARTER

Today’s qualified buyers expect perfection and are willing to pay for it. They will continue their home search until the residential sales process wears them down and/or they reconcile their wants and needs with their budget and availability and pull the trigger. Instant access to designer MLS photos and videos puts sellers in a difficult position from the get-go – the house must be perfectly presented, both visually and physically, or the buyer will quickly look elsewhere, without apology, and head for the door.

Many sellers choose to believe that buyers will overlook certain critical issues and focus on the overall value of the house. WRONG. The buyer will equate the “value” of the house with what they “see” and what they see will often create questions about what they DON’T see. These 10 issues a buyer encounters will ALWAYS cause a buyer to pause mid-step in their tour, question the cost to them and potentially head for the nearest exit:

1. Water Stains or Standing Water

  • Ceiling and wall stains from a bathroom, kitchen, laundry or built-in bar that had a leak and the repairs were not done correctly and the visual evidence of the repair is obvious.
  • Standing water in basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or yards.

2. Odor

  • Food: fish, curry, onions, grease
  • Pets: dander, urine, feces, litter boxes, animal cages
  • Smoke: cigar and cigarettes
  • Must, mold, mildew and dust
  • Moth balls, old shoes and dirty clothes in closets

3. Obvious Delayed Maintenance

  • Rotting wood on windows and doors
  • Leaking sky light
  • Peeling paint
  • Large interior wall and ceiling settlement cracks
  • Large exterior cracks in foundation, garage, driveway
  • Exterior stains on brick, siding, roof and chimney
  • Cracked or cloudy glass windowpanes and door glass
  • Unfinished building projects
  • Rotten, broken and falling down fence and outdoor structures

4. Signs of Rodents, Pests, et al.

  • Rat boxes, mouse traps, obvious feces and urine, roaches, termites,
  • Odor and evidence of infestation inside house in the attic, crawl space, storage, garage and outbuildings
  • Outdoor exterior evidence of termites in wood shingle exterior, and ground abutting the house and fence

5. Original Kitchen and Bathrooms in Older Homes

  • Small kitchen cabinet size, poor or odd layout, old and mismatched appliances, stylized back splash and cheap counter tops
  • Original tile floor and walls in multi-color design, built in soap dishes, toothbrush holders, glass holder, cracked bath and shower doors, cheap builder faucet and hardware, older toilet

6. Old, wall-to-wall plush carpet

  • Worn, stained, smelly and non-neutral colored wall to wall carpet covering hardwood floors

7. Creepy Unfinished Spaces

  • Unfinished basements, attics, storage areas, stairways, doors and windows no longer in use but visually and physically unsecured from exterior
  • Basement utility laundry room with poor to no lighting, cracked flooring, lack of storage space
  • Spider webs, dead bugs, shredded insulation

8. Old and Broken Lighting

  • Poor light and degraded older interior and exterior fixtures that are not working or with cracked glass panes
  • Oversized ceiling lights and fans, brown ceiling fans, inadequate bedroom, bath and hallway lighting

9. Brass, Brass and More Brass

  • Shiny yellow builder-grade brass switch plates, lighting fixtures, trim in bathrooms on tub and shower doors, bath fixtures and hardware

 10. Old Wallpaper and Bold Paint Colors

  • Older wallpaper (even if it was expensive) and a kaleidoscope of seller specific wall colors

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE ENJOYS A STRONG START TO 2020

February 19, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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Home sales mark a seventh straight month of gains while demand for lease properties also rises

HOUSTON — (February 12, 2020) — Fresh on the heels of a record-breaking 2019, home sales across greater Houston began the new year with a strong showing as consumers continued to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 drew the most buyers in January followed by homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 range. Activity among properties for lease also registered solid gains during the month.

According to the latest monthly Market Update from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), 4,699 single-family homes sold in January compared to 4,112 a year earlier. That represents a 14.3 percent increase – the seventh consecutive positive month and the greatest January sales volume hike in seven years. The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 4.5 percent to $234,000 and the average price climbed 4.6 percent to $291,034. Both figures represent the highest prices ever for a January.

Sales of all property types totaled 5,800, up 15.2 percent from January 2019. Total dollar volume for the month surged 17.1 percent to about $1.6 billion.

“January is a traditionally slower month for home sales coming off the holidays, but the Houston market continues to benefit from low mortgage interest rates and a generally robust economy with healthy employment numbers,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “All the January home buying activity lowered our housing inventory a little, but we expect to see that grow again as we approach the spring months when more homes typically hit the market.”

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.45 percent last week, according to figures released by Freddie Mac. That is the lowest level since October 2016. As for the local jobs landscape, the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) reported in its January 24 Houston Employment Update that Metro Houston created 88,000 jobs – a 2.8 percent increase – during the 12 months ended December 2019, according to Texas Workforce Commission data. The GHP also noted that Houston’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in December, down from 3.9 percent in December 2018.

Lease Property Update

Consumers that weren’t buying homes in January were renting properties at a brisk pace. Single-family home rentals shot up 14.5 percent year-over-year while rentals of townhomes and condominiums rose 5.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes ticked up 1.7 percent to $1,782 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 5.9 percent to $1,598.

January Monthly Market Comparison

Except for inventory, January indicators for the Houston real estate market were positive, with single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all up compared to January 2019. Pricing levels reached January highs. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 7,212. That is a 21.1 percent jump over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 3.7 percent to 39,699.

Single-family homes inventory recorded a 3.5-months supply in January, down fractionally from a 3.6-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 3.0-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

 

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales jumped 14.3 percent in January with 4,699 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 4,112 a year earlier. This marks the seventh straight month of positive sales and is the greatest January sales volume increase since January 2013 when it leapt 28.0 percent. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a January. The median price increased 4.5 percent to $234,000. The average price rose 4.6 percent to $291,034.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, extended slightly from 66 to 68 days. Inventory registered a 3.5-months supply. That compares to 3.6 months a year earlier and is greater than the current national inventory level of 3.0 months reported by NAR.

Broken out by housing segment, January sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 18.5 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 9.8 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 14.8 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 25.6 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 33.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 20.0 percent

HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 3,760 in January, up 12.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 6.6 percent to $279,803 while the median sales price rose 4.8 percent to $220,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Sales of townhomes and condominiums surged for the second consecutive month, up 20.9 percent versus January 2019, with 399 units sold compared to 330 one year prior. The average price declined 3.5 percent to $186,582 while the median price slid 5.2 percent to $149,750. Inventory was unchanged at a 4.0-months supply.

 

Houston Real Estate Highlights in January

  • Single-family home sales jumped 14.3 percent year-over-year, with 4,699 units sold, marking the seventh consecutive month of positive sales;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes extended slightly from 66 to 68 days;
  • Total property sales surged 15.2 percent, with 5,800 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume rose 17.1 percent to about $1.6 billion;
  • The single-family home median price increased 4.5 percent to $234,000, reaching a January high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 4.6 percent to a January high of $291,034;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.5-months supply, down fractionally from 3.6 months last January but above the national inventory level of 3.0 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales jumped for a second straight month – up 20.9 percent, with the average price down 3.5 percent to $186,582 and the median price down 5.2 percent to $149,750;
  • Lease properties experienced a strong performance, as single-family home rentals climbed 14.5 percent with the average rent up 1.7 percent to $1,782;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases rose 5.6 percent with the average rent up 5.9 percent to $1,598.

THE HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET CHARGES ACROSS THE FINISH LINE FOR A RECORD 2019

January 16, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
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December marks the biggest percentage increase of the year in home sales 

HOUSTON — (January 8, 2020) — Low mortgage interest rates, healthy employment growth and a stable supply of homes created fertile ground for the Houston real estate market, which blossomed to record levels in 2019. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed 2018’s record volume by nearly five percent. December delivered the year’s strongest percentage increase in single-family home sales. However, as 2020 gets underway, housing inventory has shrunk slightly, which could narrow options for consumers that may be hoping to buy a home in the new year.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR) latest annual report, 2019 single-family home sales rose 4.8 percent to 86,205. Sales of all property types totaled 102,593, which represents a 4.3-percent increase over 2018’s record volume and marks the first time that total property sales have ever broken the 100,000 level. Total dollar volume for 2019 climbed 6.7 percent to a record-breaking $30 billion.

“During the latter half of 2019, we had a sense that we were headed toward a record year for Houston real estate, but no one expected it to be this strong a finish,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “Townhomes and condominiums had a roller coaster ride and the luxury market cooled a bit, but overall, 2019 was a phenomenal year. As long as the Houston economy remains healthy and we see some growth in housing inventory, we expect 2020 to get off to a positive start,” he added.

Single-family home sales for the month of December jumped 14.3 percent to compared to December 2018. The strongest sales activity took place among homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000, which rocketed 27.2 percent. Homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 range ranked second place, climbing 13.7 percent. The luxury segment, consisting of homes priced from $750,000 and above, increased 12.7 percent.

Prices of single-family homes set new December highs. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 4.6 percent to $251,000 while the average price went up 2.5 percent to $312,922. Despite those highs, pricing increases in general began to show moderation as the end of the year drew to a close.

2019 Annual Market Comparison

Economic uncertainty loomed as 2019 began, with federal workers on edge about the continuing government shutdown and escalating trade friction with China. The Houston real estate market entered 2019 with constrained inventory. However, the housing supply grew almost immediately, rising from a 3.6-months supply in January to a peak of 4.3 months in June and July. Months of inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity.

Real estate records were set throughout the year, with July going down as Houston’s greatest one-month sales volume of all time – 8,918 single-family units sold. A record high average price of $322,143 was reached in May while a record high median price of $252,700 was achieved in June.

By the time the books were closed on December transactions, a record 86,205 single-family homes had sold across greater Houston in 2019. That represents an increase of 4.8 percent from the previous record of 82,229 in 2018.

On a year-to-date basis, the average price rose 2.3 percent to $305,959 while the median price increased 3.2 percent to $245,000. Total dollar volume for full-year 2019 rose 6.7 percent to a record-setting $30 billion.

 

 

 

 

December Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market generated positive readings across the board in December with the exception of inventory. Single-family home sales, total property sales total dollar volume and pricing were all up compared to December 2018. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 5,796, an increase of 22.7 percent versus one year earlier. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 3.6 percent from December 2018 to 38,504.

Single-family homes inventory narrowed slightly from a 3.5-months supply to 3.4 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 3.7-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

 

 

 

 

December Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales totaled 7,505, up 14.3 percent from December 2018. That marks 2019’s greatest one-month percentage increase in sales. The median price rose 4.6 percent to a December high of $251,000. The average price increased 2.5 percent to $312,922 – also a December record. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, improved slightly from 64 to 63.

 

 

 

 

Broken out by housing segment, December sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 20.0 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 15.8 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 13.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 27.2 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 11.8 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 12.7 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,762 in December, up 16.9 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 3.1 percent to $299,699 while the median sales price increased 6.8 percent to $235,000.

 

 

 

 

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales had a strong finish to a year that saw alternating months of gains and losses. December volume jumped 14.1 percent, with 581 units selling versus 509 a year earlier. The average price rose 10.3 percent to $227,239 and the median price increased 9.1 percent to $185,000. Inventory grew from a 3.7-months supply to 4.0 months.

 

 

 

 

Lease Property Update

Houston’s lease market staged a mixed performance in December. Single-family home leases rose 5.0 percent while townhome/condominium leases fell 5.5 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was flat at $1,764 and the average rent for townhomes/condominiums was up 2.7 percent to $1,569.

Houston Real Estate Highlights for December and Full-Year 2019

  • 2019 proved to be a record year for Houston home sales with 86,205 single-family homes sold versus 82,229 in 2018, the last record-setting year. That represents an increase of 4.8 percent;
  • Total dollar volume for full-year 2019 rose 6.7 percent to a record-setting $30 billion;
  • December single-family home sales jumped 14.3 percent year-over-year with 7,505 units sold. That marks the greatest one-month percentage increase of the year;
  • Total December property sales increased 14.7 percent to 8,879 units;
  • Total dollar volume for December soared 18.0 percent to $2.7 billion;
  • At $251,000, the single-family home median price rose 4.6 percent to a December high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 2.5 percent to a December high of $312,922;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory narrowed slightly to a 3.4-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales had a strong 2019 finale, jumping 14.1 percent, with the average price up 10.3 percent to $227,239 and the median price up 9.1 percent to $185,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 5.0 percent with average rent unchanged at $1,764;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums fell 5.5 percent with average rent up 2.7 percent to $1,569.

The Houston Housing Market Chugs Confidently Along Through November

December 17, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Low interest rates buoy sales for a fifth straight month

HOUSTON — (December 11, 2019) — November marked the fifth consecutive positive month of home sales with continued low mortgage interest rates helping to keep the Houston real estate market on track for a record 2019. Single-family home sales across greater Houston totaled 6,395 in November, according to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). That is up 3.6 percent from one year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 4.1 percent ahead of 2018’s record volume.

The strongest sales activity took place among homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000, which rose 12.5 percent. Homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 range ranked second place, climbing 5.2 percent. The luxury segment, made up of homes priced from $750,000 and above, fell 9.1 percent.

Single-family home prices set new November highs. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.5 percent to $240,900 while the average price edged up 1.1 percent to $297,831. Despite the record prices, pricing increases in general have shown moderation as the end of the year draws closer.

Inventory was unchanged in November, holding steady at a 3.8-months supply. That is the first time this year that the market saw no growth in the supply of homes, which is not uncommon during the holidays when fewer homes are traditionally listed for sale.

Sales of all property types increased 2.1 percent in November, totaling 7,577 units. Total dollar volume rose 3.4 percent to $2.2 billion.

“The end of the year typically brings a slower pace of home sales, so we welcome another month of gains and attribute it to continued low interest rates in a market that has added more than 80,000 jobs over the past year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.68 percent during the week ending December 5, according to figures released by Freddie Mac. Compared to a year ago, mortgage rates were more than a full percentage point lower. During the same week last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.75 percent.

Lease Property Update

November marked a down month for lease properties. Single-family home leases dipped 1.3 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums fell 8.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 2.6 percent to $1,775 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was unchanged at $1,500.

November Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston real estate market generated positive readings overall in November. Single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all increased compared to November 2018, however inventory held steady. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 6,925. That represents a 23.5 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 5.2 percent to 42,139.

The November inventory of single-family homes was flat at a 3.8-months supply. It is the first time in 2019 that the Houston area saw no growth in the supply of homes – not unusual given that fewer homes are typically listed during the holidays. For perspective, housing inventory across the United States currently stands at a 3.9-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That is down from 4.1 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single-Family Homes Update

November became the fifth consecutive positive month of single-family home sales, with 6,395 units sold across greater Houston compared to 6,170 a year earlier. That represents a 3.6 percent increase in volume. On a year-to-date basis, sales are running 4.1 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home prices reached the highest levels ever for a November. The median price was $240,900, up 2.5 percent from the year prior. The average price edged up 1.1 percent to $297,831. Despite that, the increases are among the smallest of 2019 and reflect continued pricing moderation as the year draws to a close.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was 59 compared to 60 a year ago. Inventory was flat at a 3.8-months supply. The national inventory stands at 3.9 months, according to NAR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken out by housing segment, November single-family sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 13.8 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 6.1 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 1.3 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 12.5 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 5.2 percent
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 9.1 percent

HAR also breaks out sales activity for just existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,103 in November. That is up 4.8 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price eked out a 0.5 percent gain to $284,055 while the median price increased 3.2 percent to $225,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

The roller coaster townhouse and condominium segment registered its second straight monthly decline. Sales tumbled 5.1 percent in November with 467 units sold compared to 492 in November 2018. The average price rose 3.4 percent to $218,440 while the median price increased 2.5 percent to $168,625. Inventory expanded from a 4.1-months supply to 4.6 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houston Real Estate Highlights in November

  • Single-family home sales rose 3.6 percent year-over-year, with 6,395 units sold;
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are running 4.1 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes went from 60 to 59 days;
  • Total property sales increased 2.1 percent, with 7,577 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume rose 3.4 percent to $2.2 billion;
  • The single-family home median price increased 2.5 percent to $240,900, achieving a November high;
  • The single-family home average price ticked up 1.1 percent to $297,831 – also a record high for a November;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was flat for the first time in 2019, holding steady at a 3.8 months supply. For comparison, the national housing inventory is at a 3.9-months supply, according to NAR;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 5.1 percent year-over-year, with 467 units sold. The average price increased 3.4 percent to $218,440 while the median price rose 2.5 percent to $168,625;
  • Single-family home leases fell 1.3 percent with the average rent up 2.6 percent to $1,775;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases dropped 8.7 percent with the average rent unchanged at $1,500.

You Don’t Need 20% Down and Seven Other Myths That Are Getting in the Way of Homeownership

November 22, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Think you need to come up with 20% for a down payment in order to buy a house? It might surprise you to know that the median down payment for first-time buyers last year was just 7%, per the National Association of Realtors®. And there are plenty of loan programs out there that require far less. The 20% myth is just one of the things that’s keeping homeownership out of reach. We’re digging in to seven others.

You need to be well-established in your forever career

There has been a lot of discussion about how millennials are waiting longer and longer to purchase homes. “As a result of their consequent struggle to save, millennials are delaying major life milestones like getting married and buying a home,” said Business Insider.

Nonetheless, there are still millennials jumping into the market because, even know their name isn’t yet on the door, they’re excited to have a home in their name. Having a stable job, a comfortable salary, and the desire to own a home may just be enough.

Sure, you might not be ready to buy the house of your dreams or move to the neighborhood where you can imagine raising kids and, someday, retiring, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of the game. A smaller place closer to work or an attached property can, quite literally, get your foot in the homeownership door and allow you to start earning equity.

You have to be completely out of debt

Recent data shows that nearly half of all undergraduates are delaying homeownership because of student loans. “According to a recent Federal Reserve study, a $1,000 increase in student loan debt lowers the homeownership rate by about 1.5%, equivalent to an average delay of about 2.5 months in attaining homeownership,” said Clever Real Estate. “For the average college debt holder with $37,000 in debt, that ends up being about a 7.7-year delay in their path homeownership.”

Regardless of your debt, whether it’s from student loans or credit cards, it may still be possible to qualify for a mortgage and afford the payments, especially because rents are often comparable to mortgage payments. Mortgage underwriters don’t expect homebuyers to be debt-free; In fact, having no debt might actually work against you. They like to see responsible credit use and management.

You need to have a family

Yes, many would-be homebuyers hold off until parenthood is looming, because they’re not ready to move to the suburbs, get married, and have kids. But, a third of today’s new homeowners are unmarried, according to CITYLAB. “The shift is detailed in a new working paper from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, in which researchers crunched demographic data from HUD and from American Housing Surveys taken every other year between 1997 and 2017. Perhaps the most notable departure from 20 years ago is the marital status of new homeowners. According to the paper, the share of married buyers declined from 61 percent in 1997 to just over half by 2017. Meanwhile, 35 percent of first-time homebuyers in 2017 had never been married.”

You need to be a man

There was a time when single women wouldn’t even have considered buying a home on their own. That time has clearly passed. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2018 profile of home buyers and sellers, single women homebuyers outnumbered single male homebuyers by 2 to 1!

You need a 30-year conventional loan

There are tons of different loans that can help you purchase your first home, make payments more affordable and/or give you the flexibility you need to make homebuying affordable. FHA loans are among the most well-known and most popular loans for first-time buyers because they require just 3.5% down and have low credit score requirements. Other loans worth looking into depending on your circumstances include: government VA loans for veterans; USDA loans for properties in rural areas; and loans like Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Renovation loan, which gives buyers bundled funds to purchase and make improvements to their home.

You need to have great credit

If your score isn’t in the 800s, or even the 700s, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be living that apartment life forever. You might be surprised to see the credit score minimums for some loans. “While there is no official minimum credit score for a home loan approval, the minimum FICO credit score for conventional loan approval tends to be around 620,” said Credit.com.

It has to be your primary home

“Some rich urban millennials are choosing to rent in the city and buy a vacation home instead of a primary residence,” said Business Insider. Meanwhile, some other savvy investors are continuing to rent and plunking down money to purchase homes in tourist-friendly locations so they can take advantage of the AirBNB craze. “According to Priceonomics, hosts on Airbnb are earning more than anyone else in the gig economy and are raking in an average of $924 a month,” said Travel & Leisure. “Airbnb hosts make nearly three times as much as other workers…with some hosts making more than $10,000 per month.”

THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET SHOWS NO LETUP IN SEPTEMBER

October 21, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

Home sales remain on track for another record year

HOUSTON — (October 9, 2019) — Houston home sales registered the seventh positive month of 2019 in September as consumers continued to take advantage of low mortgage interest rates, keeping a market that normally slows down this time of year buzzing. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of single-family homes across the Houston area totaled 7,035 in September. That is up 9.5 percent year-over-year and marks the second largest one-month sales volume of the year. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 3.8 percent ahead of 2018’s record volume.

For the second month in a row, homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 range saw the greatest sales gains, jumping 18.7 percent compared to September 2018. That was followed by homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 range, which rose 12.6 percent. The luxury segment, which is comprised of homes priced from $750,000 and up, declined 2.6 percent.

The median price of a single-family home (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) reached the highest level ever for a September, climbing 4.7 percent to $244,000. The average price also achieved a September record, rising 1.5 percent to $298,947.

Buyers have had a more plentiful supply of homes from which to choose in 2019 compared to last year. In September, housing inventory edged up to a 4.1-months supply versus 4.0 months in September 2018. So far this year, the peak of inventory was reached in June and July when it registered a 4.3-months supply.

Sales of all property types jumped 9.5 percent in September, totaling 8,430 units. This comes on the heels of two consecutive months of record-high total sales that broke the 10,000 mark for the first time – the highest being July with 10,444 units sold. Total dollar volume for the month of September climbed 10.8 percent to $2.4 billion.

“I cannot recall a fall in Houston when home sales and rentals were quite this brisk,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. “Historically low interest rates and a strong overall local economy have drawn more buyers than usual to the market and kept Realtors like myself extremely busy. We remain on track for another record year.”

Freddie Mac this week reported an average 3.64 percent rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans – down more than one percent from a year ago. Freddie Mac economists predict the fourth quarter of 2019 will average a 3.7 percent interest rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans, with 2019 claiming a 4.0 percent average overall. Fannie Mae expects the year to average out at 3.9 percent, while the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 3.8 percent.

Lease Property Update

Lease properties staged another strong month in September. Single-family home leases jumped 6.9 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums rose 1.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was up 1.5 percent at $1,838 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was unchanged at $1,589.

September Monthly Market Comparison

All the measurements for the Houston housing market held to positive territory in September. Single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing, total dollar volume and inventory all increased compared to September 2018. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 7,285. That represents an 18.9 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 7.3 percent to 44,172.

 

 

Single-family homes inventory grew slightly to a 4.1-months supply in September. compared to 4.0 months a year earlier. However, it is below the 2019 peak of 4.3-months reached in June and July. For perspective, housing inventory across the United States also currently stands at a 4.1-months supply, according to the latest National Association of Realtors (NAR) report

Single-Family Homes Update

September marked the seventh positive month of 2019 for single-family home sales, as volume jumped 9.5 percent with 7,035 units sold across greater Houston compared to 6,427 a year earlier. That represents the second largest one-month sales volume of 2019. On a year-to-date basis, sales are 3.8 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace.

Home prices climbed to the highest levels ever for a September. The median price was $244,000, up 4.7 percent from one year prior. The average price rose 1.5 percent to $298,947.

 

  

 

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was 55 compared to 53 a year ago. Inventory expanded to a 4.1-months supply. That is up from 4.0 months year-over-year and is just below the 2019 peak of 4.3 months reached in June and July. It matches the national inventory of 4.1 months reported by NAR.

 

 

Broken out by housing segment, September sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 9.7 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 14.6 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 4.6 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 18.7 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 12.6 percent
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 2.6 percent

HAR also breaks out sales activity for just existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,742 in September. That is up 8.0 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 3.3 percent to $286,784 while the median sales price increased 5.0 percent to $230,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Throughout 2019, the townhouse and condominium segment has experienced alternating months of up and down sales. After a 3.2 percent year-over-year drop in August, September sales reversed course and rose 8.2 percent with 538 units sold compared to 497 in September 2018. The average price increased 3.5 percent to  $200,728 while the median price climbed 6.3 percent to $170,000. Inventory expanded from a 4.3-months supply to 4.6 months.

 

 

 

Houston Real Estate Highlights in September

  • Single-family home sales jumped 9.5 percent year-over-year, with 7,035 units sold – the second biggest one-month sales volume of 2019;
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are running 3.8 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes edged up from 53 to 55 days;
  • Total property sales increased 9.5 percent, with 8,430 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume shot up 10.8 percent to $2.4 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 4.7 percent to $244,000, achieving a September high;
  • The single-family home average price was up 1.5 percent to $298,947 – also a record high for a September;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory reached a 4.1-months supply, up from 4.0 months last September and slightly below the 4.3-months supply maintained in June and July. For comparison, the national housing inventory is also at a 4.1-months supply, according to NAR;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 8.2 percent year-over-year, with 538 units sold. The average price rose 3.5 percent to $200,728 while the median price rose 6.3 percent to $170,000;
  • Single-family home leases increased 6.9 percent with the average rent up 1.5 percent to $1,838;

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