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West Houston Market on the Road to Recovery

Energy Realty just hosted the first annual Energy Corridor International Festival last weekend to help remind residents and local businesses why the Energy Corridor is a great place to live, work, and play. Overall, the festival was a great success as many local businesses came out and shared their food, culture, services and product on a beautiful sunny day, and the live performances and DJ created a lively atmosphere.

                This was a grass roots effort pulled together by myself and other volunteers, Amy Dukes of Energy Corridor Living Magazine and Barbara Denson, author of the Gary the Go-Cart series. As residents of the Energy Corridor, we have seen businesses and neighborhoods hit hard by first the downturn of the oil industry and second by Hurricane Harvey, and we want to revive this community again. Our hope is that this annual event will continue to grow every year and become as popular as White Linen Nights in the Heights.

                While driving through the neighborhoods that were hit hard by the release of the reservoir in 2017, I am happy to see that the neighborhoods have come back to life and are beautiful and pristine again for the most part.  As a result, the home sales in these neighborhoods and the Energy Corridor have picked up again, although the market still remains saturated with a 9 month supply of inventory.

                We are finding that in order to compete in a market full of remodeled flood homes that are often priced below pre-flood value, homeowners have to update and freshen their homes to sell, even if they did not flood. In 77077, there are 294 single family homes on the market;  205 in 77079; and 1147 homes for sale in Katy! That’s a lot of homes to choose from, so buyers can be picky right now.

                As the memory of Harvey slowly fades away and the neighborhoods look better than ever, the desire to live in the Energy Corridor will far outweigh the risks of flooding and this area will come back stronger than ever! At the same time, as oil prices continue to stabilize in the $60’s and are predicted to go up to $70/barrel in a year, the empty office spaces will start filling up again, and home values should follow this trend.

                There are great things happening in West Houston and I am excited to be in the middle of it!

2018 has flown by, and now Thanksgiving is looming around the corner, signaling the start of the holiday season. As we prepare for the holidays, most people do not focus on buying or selling a home, but the year is not over yet. Despite the recent “cooling off” of home sales in September, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, we could see a surge again in the final months of 2018.

Good news is on the horizon in the Energy Corridor as news emerges that BP, Transocean, and Schumberger just signed leases to occupy more office space in the Energy Corridor. All signs are there that oil companies are gearing up to increase productivity in 2019, as predicted earlier this year.

We have already seen more relocation activity in the rental market in the last month, although it is still just trickling in right now and there is an over abundance of inventory with remodeled flood homes continuing to come on the market.  The increase in inventory and new standard set by remodeled homes has raised the expectation of potential renters and buyers, and in order to compete in this environment, landlords and Sellers must make sure that their homes are updated and pristine in order to compete. Don’t have the money to update? A fresh coat of paint and deep cleaning can do wonders for a home’s presentation.

I cannot guarantee that good things are coming for our real estate market, but I do see light at the end a long tunnel after a 3 year downturn in home sales in the Energy Corridor. Although oil prices took a dip today, we have remained over $60 per barrel since the beginning of 2018, which is higher than the previous 2 years. Our real estate market typically follows oil prices by 6-12 months, and we are nearing that window now.

With oil prices stabilized and the midterm elections over, I hope to see our real estate market revitalize as we head into 2019.

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Sherry and her team are very professional in serving their clients no matter in pre-selling consultation, setting, sending a professional photographer to take pictures of the houses, posting complete and detail information on the website, notifying clients about the sales status, negotiating the sales prices, and handling the documentations to ensure smooth closings. Sherry got Continue Reading

Catharine Yu

1111 Eldridge Pkwy, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77077