Nearly 75 million Americans have been fully vaccinated as of today, which is 22% of the population, and while we appear more people seem to be getting out and going to work again, as well as going to restaurants and the gym, we are not yet back to normal.
It appears that even if the entire population is vaccinated, we may not see life resume back to the “old normal” as fears of new COVID-19 strains still circulate in the air. As a result, more people prefer to stay at home and cocoon in a safer environment.
What does this mean for home sales? In general, the market remains a Seller’s market across the United States, including Houston as more people look for more space both indoors and outdoors to cocoon with their families. While interest rates may have been ping ponging up and down over the last few months, it has not stopped the drive to buy bigger homes.
In addition, inventory levels remain at all time lows, with less than a 2 month’s supply on the market in general and closer to a 1 month’s supply in the Suburbs. Although I predicted that the inventory levels would increase by this Spring, they are increasing at an excruciatingly slow rate, especially in the Suburbs. As of this morning, there are just over 200 homes Active on the market (not under contract) in Katy.
As you move towards town, inventory levels will creep up, but homes are selling at a fast pace in most markets in Houston. I see more e-mails and social media posts every day from agents searching for homes for their clients before they come on the market. In the price range under $400k, we have seen over 100 visitors at an open house in one day, and over 30 offers on these homes. (The higher price ranges are also selling fast, but not at this extreme pace, and the market is still price and condition sensitive.)
Please be careful Houston, because the last time we experienced a crazy seller’s market like this, it became a speculative market and buyers overpaid for homes. It is a frenzy to win the bid, and buyers are paying 10’s of thousands of dollars above asking price—I have seen $50k above asking price in some situations. This is pushing values up at a record pace that may not be sustainable, so as the market cools, the real value may be below what these buyers paid.
Approach the buying market quickly and with caution, and work with a professional Realtor that can guide you into a winning purchase.
By: Sherry Campbell