How COVID Has Changed Our Market
Here's my advice for navigating the market.
I recently appeared during Isiah Carey's segment “Factor Uncensored” on Fox 26 News to talk about how COVID-19 continues to change the real estate market in Houston and around the country, and I wanted to share a short clip with you today.
I’ve been in the real estate industry for more than 25 years, and never before have I seen a market like this. The real estate market is cyclical and in Houston, it’s usually pretty predictable; we typically spend a couple of years in a seller’s market, and then we’ll transition into a buyer’s market. But COVID made 2020 a year of unprecedented events, and once the pandemic hit, we had to learn to work around it.
Now that it’s 2021, the market is on fire. We are extremely low on inventory; real estate helps drive the economy, so without new listings, our economy slows down because buyers aren’t making purchases. There are at least 26 other industries that are also affected by this shortage.
In terms of who is in the market to buy, we have a heavy influx of people coming in from California. I spoke to a real estate broker in the San Francisco area recently and she said that there was something close to a mass exodus from California to Texas. Home prices in California have skyrocketed, so many people are taking this time to sell their homes and use the proceeds to pay for a new home in Texas.
"Never before have I seen a market like this."
Since COVID hit, the word ‘home’ has taken on a new meaning. Five years ago, homes with studies often found those rooms to be unused, and many builders had stopped building those. The same was true with formal dining rooms. Now, builders in the new construction arena are launching all-new floor plans, some with two studies, formal dining, and more of a closed floor plan since so many are having to work and school from home. This trend has brought a wholly different class of buyers.
If you’re looking to sell your home but are worried that there isn’t enough inventory for you to buy a new one, here’s my advice: Let go of the old school mentality where you think it’ll be an easy, leisurely process to sell your current home and find a new one you love to buy. That’s not our market anymore, and likely won’t be throughout 2021.
Inventory is low, but that makes it a great time to sell as there are so many buyers looking. Ideally, you’d put your current home on the market first; there are a ton of buyers in the price point between $250,000 to $350,000. As long as your home is priced correctly, it will sell. If you can’t find the perfect home to replace it, you can always rent an Airbnb for a little white and wait for the right home to hit the market.
Don’t settle! Interest rates are very low and are expected to stay low throughout the rest of the year, so you don’t need to hurry. I know that a double move can be a bit stressful, but in the end, it’ll be worth it. We’ve never seen a market like this.
If you have any questions about the market or your real estate plans, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.