HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Where is Houston’s housing market headed in 2020? Job growth is projected to be weaker. While mortgage rates are expected to stay below 4 percent, the National Association of Realtors continues to call for increased homebuilding to meet housing demand and tight inventory. The Houston market continues to be redefined as the lingering impact of Hurricane Harvey threatens to impose some degree of stigmatization on homes or neighborhoods with a flooding history. But Houston Realtors just racked up record homes sales in November and pending home sales are up sharply. Without a doubt, 2019 will be the strongest year ever for Houston home sales. But can it continue in 2020? Realty News Report sought comments from the leaders of three Houston residential firms, seeking insight and clarity as the new year approaches: Bill Baldwin of Boulevard Realty; Amy Bernstein of Bernstein Realty and John A. Daugherty, Jr. of John Daugherty Realtors.
Realty News Report: What are you expecting for the Houston real estate market in 2020?
Daugherty: Regarding 2020, there seems to be an air of optimism in Houston as there are countless cranes in the air and older buildings are being torn down to make room for the bigger and better ones. Residential inventory will still remain tight in some areas while others have an abundant supply.
Bernstein: “With an election year upon us, it is difficult to predict 2020, but I remain optimistic about the economy and the real estate opportunities Houston and the surrounding areas have to offer. As we enter a new decade, I look forward to 2020 with excitement and optimism!
Baldwin: As far as the market is concerned, every indicator points to continued positive headlines barring any major economic disruption.
Realty News Report: The upper-end of the housing market appears to be showing some softness. The November report from the Houston Association of Realtors showed that sales were down 9 percent in the $750,000 and up segment. What’s going on in the luxury market?
Bernstein: Toward the middle of 2019, the luxury market appeared to soften, and inventory seemed to increase. Markets do go up and down, and I have seen these swings many times throughout my career. Often when the market softens, it swings back the other direction just as quickly and swiftly!
Baldwin: Houston is fortunate to have a stable, resilient market with sustained positive indicators across the board. Of course, all real estate is local, so there will always be pockets of the city or segments of the market that aren’t faring others as well, whether because prices are normalizing, or they have been affected by flooding or other factors.
Realty News Report: Job growth has been strong, although it may soften in 2020. What about corporate relocation activity in the residential market?
Bernstein: Relocation activity also remained steady, with many different industries moving to Houston, in all areas of the city and surrounding suburbs,” says Bernstein. “Many of these relocation clients lease for a bit until getting to know the city, and many want to settle in and right away, and feel the market conditions as they are now present excellent opportunities.
Realty News Report: There’s been a lot of disruption in the real estate brokerage business. The iBuyer companies are introducing new modes of selling. And some large national firms have entered the Houston market. Your thoughts?
Baldwin: What has continued to unfold in 2019 and will continue for the foreseeable future is disruption in the industry of real estate. From the rise of iBuyers to the venture-backed brokerage boom, it can be disorienting for consumers to know exactly how it all affects their most asset or purchase. At the end of the day, I think it is vital to be able to trust in Realtors as highly skilled, highly trained licensed professionals who are focused on our best interests, even if we are all doing it a little differently.
Daugherty: We will always have a “market” in Houston, and it is so important that sellers seek out a well-educated real estate professional to familiarize them with realistic pricing information. This will allow sellers’ properties to be more competitive; “in” the market, rather than merely “on” the market.”
RECAP — Houston Association of Realtors’ November report: Houston recorded 6,395 single-family home sales in November, up 3.6 percent from last November, the Houston Association of Realtors reported. It was the strongest November ever for home sales in Houston.
Houston’s single-family home prices set new November highs, HAR reported. The median price (the midpoint at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.5 percent to $240,900.
Dec. 18, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019
A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT: The New Book by Ralph Bivins, Editor of Realty News Report
Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up
Available on Amazon http://tiny.cc/4a2g6y