GALVESTON – (By Michelle Leigh Smith for Realty News Report) – As those lazy days of summer give way to sweater weather, home sales along the coastline are not mirroring the temperature dips.
Galveston Island realty is staying hot, not cooling off.
“We are currently having a very successful fall in sales and listings. Our spring and summer sales were fantastic,” says VJ Tramonte, owner of Tramonte Realty, located on the island since 1981. “Most of our listings get a contract within days of going on the market, and we generally have multiple back-up contracts. If this upward trend continues, we should start out 2022 on a very positive note.”
Quality homes in Galveston frequently sell for more than the original asking price, Tramonte says.
“Galveston Island is still experiencing record sales,” says Stacy Weber Rubio, a Realtor who works with Sand ‘n Sea. “There was a slight slowdown in late summer sales, but there has been an uptick in sales activity this fall – second home and investment property sales remain strong.
“I believe that we are still firmly situated in a strong sellers market, and second home and investment home buyers are once again finding themselves in bidding wars,” says Rubio. “There are currently only 1.4 months of inventory for the West End of Galveston Island. My buyers who are investing in vacation and second homes tell me they are buying for three reasons: they want sound investments in the current economic environment; they want the ability to work from anywhere; and they want to spend more time with friends and family.”
Demand Up 60 Percent in September
Galveston real estate is sailing along in a national tsunami of momentum. Covid ignited vacation home sales across the nation.
Redfin’s latest survey reveals that in September, demand for second homes around the nation was 60 percent higher than it was before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Galveston Realtor Amy Chance of Compass said her team of agents recently have sold about a dozen homes completely online – to buyers who have never seen or set foot in the house.
“People are still coming; they are looking for beachfront, bayside, condos on the beach, buildings with amenities, the interest in properties along the coastline is high; It appears everything is selling– the west side of Galveston beach has remained a highly sought-after place to purchase,” Chance said. “I have many people asking for newer properties and new construction. I had six calls on Thursday from folks looking for a new building on the beach.”
New Condo Towers Break Ground
A new 66-home condo development called Tiara on the Beach was announced in early November. The condo project, developed by Houston-based Satya will be located on the West End of the island adjacent to Diamond Beach Condominiums on San Luis Pass Road, near the west end of the seawall. Tiara on the Beach will be marketed by Nan and Company Properties.
Nan and Company, led by Nancy Almodovar, is also marketing a new condo project under development on nearby Tiki Island.
With its close proximity to Houston, which is about 50 miles north of Galveston, demand has always been strong for short-term rentals on the island.
“We were engaged in the major, major home selling about a year ago. We’re now transitioning our business more into rentals, but the market is still super-hot,” says Emily Root, Owner of Galveston-based Emily’s Design Center. “The problem is the low inventory. We are doing a lot of jobs for people who have purchased homes – sometimes, before a buyer can even close on a contract, another buyer will come in with cash. We have more buyers now than we have inventory.”
Galveston’s Historic Homes
Michael and Ashley Cordray have a DIY network show, “Restoring Galveston” that focuses on their home renovation work on the island. “Each home we touch has an often-forgotten story,” says Ashley Cordray. “It’s our goal to tell that story. Many of these once incredible homes, after years of neglect are being demolished. `Incredible’ to us doesn’t necessarily mean grand. We love 600 SF tenant cottages with the same heart as a 6000 SF mansion. It’s our view that no historic home should be voluntarily or purposefully destroyed, only to be rebuilt with particle board and plastic. These architectural treasures need as many voices and advocates as possible. These homes have often stood for more than a hundred years; we want to give them new life and ensure they will be around for a hundred more.”
Galveston has many homes that survived Great Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history with over 6,000 fatalities. Historic home tours draw thousands of visitors.
And there’s always been an island allure, long before March of 1969 when Glen Campbell released his all-time great hit song “Galveston” – remembering a coastal town which was once the largest city in Texas.
Nov. 7, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon http://tiny.cc/4a2g6y
Houston 2020 Ebook version https://tinyurl.com/4xm7z8b5
Photo: Courtesy of Galveston Economic Development Partnership
File: Galveston Realty Still Hot
File: (2) Tiki Island. Amy Chance. Galveston Realty Still Hot as Vacation Home Trend Continues, Redfin. AJ Tramonte. Restoring Galveston. Michael and Ashley Cordray. Stacy Weber Rubio. Sand ‘n Sea