20 months after COVID-19 changed the landscape of how we live, work and play, how much has changed? 2021 has been a roller coaster of optimism and doubt again as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpasses 40 million due to the Delta Variant.

               At the beginning of summer, most of the major oil companies had planned to have all employees back in the office by October, and that is on hold once again. While we are seeing a trend of people going back to the office, we are also seeing what CNBC labels as “The Great Wait” as many large companies like Goggle have delayed the return to the office until January 2022 –two years after COVID hit the U.S.!

               The schools have all re-opened and have stopped virtual classes, but parents are approaching this new normal with caution as more children are contracting COVID across the United States. While we are all anxious to return to our normal life before COVID, this “New Normal” may be here to stay.

               Energy Realty is preparing a survey to send to our sphere of clients to understand how housing needs in Houston have changed since COVID-19. It is clear that the suburbs like Katy, Cypress, Fulshear, and Sugarland remain more desirable than housing in the City with little to no green space, but it will be interesting to see if this will shift again once employees are forced to return to the office.

               The other big question is, how many employers will ever return to the office, versus continuing to allow employees to work from home.

               According to the Houston Agent Magazine, we saw a decline in housing sales and inventory levels in August, but now that we are past Labor Day, we hope to see the Fall market pick up again. When I checked a few days ago, the number of homes for sale on MLS in Katy was down to 250 again—a drop of 100 homes!!

               August is back to school month, so the decline was expected. Let’s see what happens in the next few months as everyone adjusts to the expectation that COVID may be here to stay.

By: Sherry Campbell

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