In looking at the Houston-area housing market we see a positive slowdown in many areas from the unsustainable speed at which the market was moving. This, however, is not to be mistaken as a large decrease in market activity or demand. Year over year statistics are comparing against sales during the period when COVID-19 lockdowns has just been lifted. The surge from pent-up demand created record shattering activity that cannot be typically rivaled, even with the market activity of this year.
There’s been no stopping Houston’s housing market throughout the recent months despite historically low inventory and deviation from seasonal trends. Several factors including the most recent winter storm that swept Texas, limited new construction starts, a new wave of Millennial purchasers, and disruptions by COVID-19 have all contributed to a lack of properties on the market. Each of these has had a different impact on Houston real estate and we explore them below.
We were doing some statistical analysis, as we typically do this time of year, and found some interesting information by comparing sales in the Historic Districts against sales outside of these districts in The Heights. The Greater Heights area includes seven historic districts, each with slightly different characteristics. All seven have limitations on what can be done to a Contributing Structure.
Details on what criteria and what constitutes a contributing structure can be found at the City of Houston’s Historic Preservation Manual website.
The current market is as interesting as everything else in 2020. The impact of COVID 19 has been on the number of properties available for sale more than on the number of buyers in the market. As you will see below, the data shows that listings are down substantially from last year at this time and yet the number of properties under contract is up. The shortage of good available properties has kept prices stable. All of this information is relative to the value. The majority of sales (70+%) are between $200,000-$400,000. This does not mean that we are not selling homes above this value. Over 1,150 homes sold above $500,000 in August.
Go ziplining at Wimberley Zipline Adventures with ten different ziplines at speeds of up to 30 mph, the views of canyons and meadows are amazing. With a friendly staff, even first-timers are instructed and welcome. wimberleyzipline.com
The Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center has over 300 species of flowers and plants. An amazing effort to return the gardens to their former state from the Harvey disaster, this is something not to miss. shangrilagardens.org
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION DEADLINE FOR OWNERSHIP
DECEMBER 31, 2019
If you are currently looking for a new home, you may not have considered the impact that closing before the year end can have. The homestead exemption helps you save on taxes on your home. In addition, you may be eligible for other exemptions, such as age 65+. In order to benefit from the applicable tax exemptions on owner-occupied residential property, one must occupy that residence on January 1st.
Real estate taxes, exemptions (if any), and tax rates are based upon location and appraised value. They are determined by the County Appraisal district.
There is still time for qualified buyers to purchase your new residence and received this substantial benefit!
Contact Us for more information or visit your local appraisal district website for more information! See a list of some of the local County Appraisal District websites below.
Harris County Appraisal District – HCAD.org
Brazoria County Appraisal District – Brazoriacad.org
Chambers County Appraisal District – Chamberscad.org
Fort Bend County Appraisal District – FCAD.org
Galveston County Appraisal District – Galvestoncad.org
Liberty County Appraisal District – Libertycad.org
Montgomery County Appraisal District – Mcad-tx.org
Waller County Appraisal District – Waller-cad.org
In our 41st year as a real estate brokerage in Houston, Texas and in my 26th year of selling or managing the sale of real estate in Houston, Texas, the one thing I have learned is that I will never live long enough to have “Seen It All.” Every transaction and every client is different and the needs or requirements of each have unique situations that we encounter and deal with based on those circumstances. The benefit of the experiences we have had is that we can recognize potential issues and recall solutions from similar situations to resolve these issues before they occur.
The purchase and sale of real property is the largest investment most people make in their lives. Aside from the protection of this major aspect, it is also the place where families are raised, pets come and go, neighbors become friends and a sense of home is created for all who reside there. This is why we take our responsibilities so seriously. In a world where papers are signed with the click of a button and decisions are being made in nanoseconds, we have to step back and make sure that the things our clients are not thinking about or asking come to the forefront.
It is not the answers to the questions you ask that are most important, it is the questions you never knew to ask that matter most.
I hope this blog will provide insight and answers and sometimes entertaining anecdotes about the world of real estate in Houston and sometimes beyond. I look forward to sharing more with you and am eager to hear what you think.
Thank you for your interest and engagement.