Here are the latest statistics for the area real estate comparing January 2014 to January 2013.
Average Sales Price: $218,356 to $241,568, Up 10.6%
Number of homes for sale: Down 17.6%
Number of homes under contract: Up 23.8%
Days on Market: Down 17.4%
The cost of owning a home is going up as prices and interest rates continue to increase. But, home affordability is still very low compared with other parts of the country. We did not experience the wild swings in real estate prices during the economic downturn. Prices here did not inflate in the mid 2000’s nor deflate as rapidly during the downturn. So, even though prices are increasing, homes are still very affordable.
Interest Rates and the Economy
Rates are holding steady for now. As of this week, rates for a 30 year conventional loan averages about 4.5%, and a 30 year FHA at 4.25%. Rates are expected to rise to 5% or more sometime this year as the US economy improves. Rates have not risen as quickly as had been expected by many economists because the economy of the US as a whole is not improving as well as previously thought.
We are very fortunate to live here in Fort Bend and Harris counties. The unemployment rate for Fort Bend as of December 2013 was 5%, Harris 5.5% and for the US 6.7%. For more information on the local economy, I suggest reviewing a slide presentation given by Jeff Wiley, Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council President/CEO at the February meeting of the Fort Bend Chapter Houston Area Realtors. Go to http://www.fortbendcounty.org/documents/FortBendCountyUpdateFBRealtors2014.pdf. It will give you a great appreciation of the strength of our local economy!
For up to date mortgage rates and what you might qualify for, go to www.DaveYourMortgageGuy.com or call Dave Krichmar at (832) 689-6012.
What this means to you if you plan to buy or sell your home:
Low inventory of homes for sale is the main driving factor to rising prices. I can attest by the number of inquiries I receive, the number of buyers entering the market is increasing daily! If you are thinking about selling, this is a great time. Do you know the new market value of your home? Call me to get a free, no obligation price evaluation at (281) 437-5044. I can also advise you on the best way to prepare your home to sell for the best price in the shortest amount of time.
The market is growing more competitive for good homes. As a buyer you need to be prepared by, 1. being pre-qualified for a mortgage by a quality, knowledgeable lender, and 2. getting access to new listings as soon as they come on the market. (I can do this for you.) Be aware, not all lenders are created equal! Recently I’ve had issues with lenders simply not doing what they needed to do up front in the mortgage qualification process. This has left their clients vulnerable to loosing their earnest money and the home they really wanted. That is why I refer my buyers to my best lenders with whom I know can get the job done right. Call me at (281) 437-5044 for a referral.
New Home Market
New parcels of land are being acquired for more residential development in Fort Bend County, which is good news. (See the Economic Report referenced above.) The demand for new homes continues to grow as more people are attracted to the area for jobs, good schools and overall quality of life. If you or anyone you know is thinking about buying a new home, CALL ME at (281) 437-5044 ASAP. I can help negotiate not just a great price, but other incentives from the builders too.
Feel free to forward this info with others you know who are interested in the area market!