By Heidi Dugan
My husband and I keep reading about the declining stock market, inflation, and rising interest rates. Do you think we should wait because he feels prices will go down with all this negative press? Thanks, Waiting in the Wings
In my 30 years of selling homes in Houston, the last time we saw a drastic decline in home prices was during the “great recession” in 2008. This decline in home prices was associated with a severe worldwide economic crisis culminating with several major financial institutions declaring bankruptcy. Although the US market may be down, we are not experiencing that type of global financial meltdown in this current market.
I have lived in West University for over 40 years, and I purchased my first home in 1981 for $121,000. All my friends warned me that I was buying at the peak of the market, and I needed to wait. I sold it several years later and made a considerable profit. Today that same home would probably be worth over $1,300,000. I always tell my clients that story to illustrate that there is never a “perfect” time to buy a home.
I also received a call from an agent yesterday with an out-of-town buyer who only wants to be in West University. All they hear about is the incredible central location near to the Medical Center, five-minute commute to downtown and easy access to all the desired amenities and entertainment offered by the fourth largest city in the country. West University is a gem with a hometown feel located in the middle of Houston. West U has a strong and civic minded presence, numerous parks, including Little League baseball, softball fields, two pools as well as impressive public and private schools to choose from. As crime continues to be an issue for some cities, homeowners want to know their neighbors. The safety of a solid police force and the recent addition of a sophisticated virtual monitoring system around the perimeter of West U brings a sense of security and safety to West U residents.
There is limited amount of land in West U with a limited number of residential homes that can be built on those lots. West University, as well as Bellaire, cannot create any more land for homes with their stringent zoning and building restrictions.
In general, home prices have increased year over year since 2008. These increases have been anywhere from 3-8 percent each year, and in the past two years we have seen a significant increase. West U’s average sales price increased 15 percent in 2022 and Bellaire increased 7 percent. The number of listings has dropped in Bellaire 31 percent so far this year, and West U has seen only a minor 2 percent increase in listings.
This translates into no inventory of homes for buyers to choose from. Currently both West U and Bellaire have only 2.6 months of inventory.
With construction costs that have soared over 30 percent or more, the limited number of lots, coupled with low inventory and the continuing trend of price increases in the housing market, I believe that prices of homes in West U will remain strong for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023. My advice is to quit waiting and start your search for your dream home.
A professional real estate agent has essential insights you’ll want to rely on throughout the transaction. If you have any real estate questions or needs, please feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will publish it in my next month’s Essentials column.
Heidi Dugan has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the city’s Top 25 Realtors every year for more than 15 years, and in West University Place, where she has resided for nearly 40 years and raised her children, she is consistently ranked the No. 1 real estate agent, according to MLS
statistics. She is proudly affiliated with local and independently owned Greenwood King Properties.