Prospective homebuyers might struggle to find the perfect home as the number of homes on the market is low, and lower-cost homes have been selling rapidly.
Renee Leslie-Buckhoff, a broker and the owner of RE/MAX Elite Properties, said lower sales in March and April have started to be made up in May.
“Buyers weren’t looking in March or April,” she said. “[But] with the housing shortage right now... multiple offers [are being made] on homes with all the desirables.”
Data provided by Houston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service showed a 24.6% decrease in average days on the market in May compared to the previous year across the six ZIP codes that make up the Greater Tomball and Magnolia area.
Leslie-Buckoff said the market is currently price-driven and in favor of those selling homes below $400,000.
“If anything I am telling my sellers, ‘there’s just not very much on the market, so let’s bump that price by $10,000’,” she said. “I am doing that pretty consistently if there aren’t a lot of homes on the market in an area.”
The unemployment from the oil and gas industry is an issue for the housing market, said Leslie-Buckhoff.
“We have a lot of homeowners that are employed in the oil industry, and if they’re not put back to work, they aren’t going to be able to afford their $400[,000]-$600,000 homes,” she said.
Ray Wade, a broker and the owner of Legacy Texas Properties, said affordable houses have been selling, but higher-priced homes tend to have a longer time on the market.
“If you are looking at $1 million houses, it is more of a buyers' market,” he said. “There is definitely more on the market than there are buyers.”
During an election year, the housing market also slows down, Wade said, because people are uncertain of what the outcome may be.
“Election years tend to be challenging in terms of people being cautious of the market,” he said. “Historically what I’ve seen is after a presidential election, regardless of who is elected, everybody is just more happy with the market.”
Erika Hiller, a Realtor with Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Gary Green, said low interest rates are another reason why houses are selling quickly.
“Interest rates for buyers are really low right now, and we are coming up on hurricane season, so who knows what will happen in a couple of months [if you are considering selling],” she said.
Hiller said people are getting more active in the market, and with a shortage of homes, she has seen multiple-offer situations for many homes.
LaRae Whorley, a broker and the owner of LaRae Whorley Realty Group, said she would classify the market as a normal market, rather than a buyers' or sellers'.
“There is a fair amount of inventory; there is a fair amount of buyers out there, and if your home is in good condition, priced well and in a desirable location, it should have no problem selling,” she said.