Houston Housing Market Gaining Momentum
2016 Sets Record of 76,449 Single-family Homes Sold!
Here are the latest statistics comparing –
December 2015 to December 2016 (for single family homes)
- Average Sales Price: $219,900 to $225,903 up 2.7%
- Active listings (Homes available for sale): Up 7.1%
- Number of homes under contract: up 5.3%
- Number of home sales (closed): up 4.3%
The 2016 Houston housing market started out slow, but gained momentum to finish out the year strong. All price sectors have seen prices increase as well as the number of homes sold. This includes homes priced over $500,000, which had declined from August 2015 to October 2016. These homes saw an increase of 22.5% from December 2015 to December 2016. As home prices increase, there are fewer and fewer homes available for sale in the low end of the market (under $150,000). Prices in this sector are driven even higher as first-time home buyers and investors compete for the shrinking inventory.
Rates have been rising for the past 2 months. Currently they are between 4.0 – 4.3% for a 30 year mortgage. Rates are expected to continue their increase through 2017, hopefully to no higher than 5%.
I work with a few very reliable lenders I have vetted for their competitive loan costs, interest rates, and their consistent communication with clients. Call me if you need a referral for a trusted lender to buy or refinance a home.
Home inventory had been rising throughout 2016, but is beginning to slow. Many sellers wait to list their homes in the spring. But, I am seeing an increase in buyer activity since the holidays. I expect it will continue throughout spring and into summer. Many have waited because of feeling uncertain about the November elections. But, as we have seen, the economy continues to move forward… and people continue to buy and sell houses!
If you, or anyone you know is thinking about selling, call me at (281-437-5044). My team members and I can advise you on how to add value to your home and improve its appeal to buyers. We can show you our winning marketing plan to expose your home to the highest number of qualified buyers and their agents.
Buyers and New Home Market
Some new home builders continue to offer incentives to sell their inventory homes, though not as aggressively as before the new year.
Give us a call to assist you with finding the best deals and negotiating the best terms and price on a new home.
If you bought a new home in 2016, don’t forget to apply for your TX Homestead Exemption (property tax deductions of 10 to 15% for your primary residence) for 2017. There is NO COST to apply for the Homestead Tax Exemption. I emphasize this because I have seen new buyers get scammed – they receive a letter in the mail telling them to send a check in order to receive an “Official Homestead Exemption Certificate”. There is no such requirement. There are other exemptions you may be eligible for too, like the over 65, the disability and the disabled veteran exemptions. Give me a call at (281) 437-5044 or go to my website, http://LernerRealtySolutions.com/ to learn more about how to apply for this exemption and links to forms you will need.
In December 2016, the single-family home lease market rose 5.2% and the townhome/condo market rose 9.5%, compared to December 2015. Rental rates have remained steady and even declined in some areas due to the high volume of new apartments coming into the market in 2016.
Investing in Real Estate
Interest in investing in the Houston real estate market continues to grow. This has created a lot of competition for lower priced homes, which are becoming more scarce to find. When a home that interests investors comes on the market, there will usually be multiple offers and it will sell for over list price. If you are interested in learning more about investing in rental properties, give me a call. We can talk more about what kind of homes in what locations would give you the highest ROI (return on investment). I can help you put together winning bids with terms that appeal to sellers.