***This market report was updated on 5/06/2020***
Philosopher, Ferris Bueller, once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That quote comes to mind when we look at the most recent real estate data in Houston. Pending home sales** have bounced back in a big way over the past couple of weeks. According to HAR-MLS data for Harris County, Homes are now going under contract at a rate similar to what we saw this time last year. As of this writing, they were up 7.42% in the 7 days ending on Monday, May 6 compared to the same period in 2019.
Some segments of the economy have been slower to rebound, specifically the luxury home market (homes listed at $750K or more). Although still down from the same period last year, we have seen a bounce in pending sales in the luxury market as well.
Most likely this rebound is driven by pent of demand built up during the lockdown. That demand was partially unleashed when Texas governor, Gregg Abbott, issued an executive order on April 27th increasing the freedom of movement in Texas.
Furthermore, Oil prices have begun to rise, which might be instilling some additional confidence for Houstonians. The West Texas Intermediate has bounced off their lows to approximately $24 a barrel. We’ve still got a ways to go regarding an oil industry rebound, but this is at least a step in the right direction.
Mortgage rates remain near historic lows and the Federal Reserve has a lot of incentive to help keep them low for the foreseeable future. Although some mortgage underwriting guidelines have tightened over the past couple of weeks, mortgage programs are still available and we haven’t experienced anything near to tightening we saw in 2008 during the Great Recession. Our mortgage partners are ready to assist you if you would like to evaluate your options.
So what’s next? Well, on May 5th, Governor Abbott issued another executive order that will continue to open up businesses and freedom of movement. In the short term, we expect this opening to continues to drive some demand for real estate.
If you are considering buying or selling a home in 2020, we would recommend that you enlist the advice of a local professional who serves your specific market. Every market will be impacted differently during uncertain times and there is never a one size fits all model in real estate. The solution that best fits your cousin in New York City is not necessarily the best one for you down here in H-Town. Or for that matter, the solution that best fits a home seller in Sugar Land is not necessarily the best one that fits a home seller in the Heights.
If you would like to talk to an agent about your specific situation, Feel free to give us a call at 713-869-5700 or fill out the form below and we will match you with an agent.
**Pending sales will change over time as some contracts fall out or do not get to closing.