Home sales have been slow throughout the country since the credit crunch of 2008. Some areas, of course, were hit harder than others. There have been lingering worries over the still sluggish economy, and lending standards have toughened quite a bit, which can work against the home market. The Houston area, on the other hand, has been one of the fortunate areas in the country where the local economy has been relatively unharmed by the broader woes. Filled with multiple high tech and dynamic Fortune 500 companies, the metro area presents the potential house buyer with a unique problem these days; a lack of choices at all price levels.
In fact, over the last year, the availability of pre-owned homes on the market has actually plummeted by almost 40% in the last two years. According to multiple real estate listing services, the supply of units for sale is at its lowest level in decades for some districts. In fact, according to statistics recently released from the Texas A&M Real Estate Center found that pre-owned home sales have increased by 15% over the first 9 months of 2012, and there has been a corresponding rise in housing prices. In fact, in many neighborhoods, demand has outstripped the supply.
Most industry experts consider a six month inventory of homes available for sale to be a balance market; in Houston, that figure stands at about 4.5 months. In many areas, the supply is even tighter; In Grapevine there is a 2.4 month inventory, Allen stands at 2.3, and Frisco just ahead of them at 2.8 months. And expect that market to get even tighter over the next few months thanks to the annual decline of listings during the selling off-season.
This all leads to a good time to sell in Houston. While there are over 14000 listings for pre-owned single family units, that number is actually a good 30% lower total than what was on the market even a year ago. For aggressive sellers, it all adds up to a quick turnaround. Even houses listed at higher than normal prices are seeing multiple offers, according to area real estate experts.
It’s important to understand, however, that even in the most fortuitous environment for selling, that it’s still far too easy to make huge mistakes and wind up costing yourself a fortune in time and money wasted. So be sure to do your homework, and take advantage while the sun is shining.