Stormy Forecast For Houston Housing Market Amid Covid-19

Summer months won’t bring sunny skies to a plummeting real estate market and oil bust. We take a look at the Housing housing market amid Covid-19.

Hearing that real estate transactions were essential was a glimmer of hope in the otherwise grey sky looming over Houston’s housing market. But the essential status wasn’t enough to keep the virus from pulling the rug out from under our feet. So what’s that thunderous roar? It’s the sound of the plunging Houston housing market amid Covid-19.

The Oil Bust: Houston Housing Market Amid Covid-19

The oil bust didn’t help. Call it a perfect storm if you like, but the use of the word perfect seems ironic at best and downright cruel at worst. During one of the most fearful, uncertain times in the history of the US economy, thousands of oil-industry jobs were slashed. This was a devastating blow, especially for Houston.

And the worst oil bust in history could not have come at a worse time. It’s estimated that Houston could lose as many as 83,000 jobs by the time 2020 wraps. This will have staggering effects on a Houston economy some are already calling battered.

Striking Statistics 

The Houston real estate industry will not come out of this coronavirus season unscathed. In mid-April, the housing market was already down a whopping 37%. Although closings can still take place since real estate transactions were deemed essential, listings and appointments have plummeted compared to this time last year.

Understandably, leasing activity has slowed. People are hesitant to hold, and attend, open houses. But it’s not only lease transactions that are down – rent prices are declining too. At this time, analysts expect home sales to fall 25% overall for the year.

Everything looks different in the age of Coronavirus. While open-houses and in-person tours were once essential components of the process, people have been forced to get creative with virtual tours, FaceTime walk-throughs, and remote lease-signings.

When stay-at-home orders were first issued, many simply removed their homes from the market in anticipation of the worst. Although real estate transactions were still essential, they slowed, and occasionally even felt risky.

Uncertainty in some areas led to hesitation in other areas – for some people, buying, selling, and moving were no longer priorities – or even possibilities. But what about now, as the state slowly reopens?

Houston Housing Market Amid Covid-19: The New Open House 

Now that things are starting to open back up, some realtors are hosting open houses again. Surprisingly, many of these open houses are seeing a strong turnout. For now, prospective tenants are mostly arriving with masks, maintaining social distancing, and forgoing handshakes in favor of friendly waves.

And while some people are probably just looking to get out of the house, others seem genuinely interested in buying.

As things slowly come back to life, realtors are hopeful that the Houston housing market won’t be too far behind. The recent healthy open-house turnouts are a small spark of hope in an otherwise discouraging market.

Covid-19 And The Los Angeles Housing Market

It’s still too early to predict the impact of Covid-19 on the Los Angeles housing market. Realtors and other industry professionals remain hopeful, utilizing virtual tours and online connectivity.

Los Angeles was on track for a banner year in real estate. Prices were predicted to soar even
higher than they did in 2019, and low interest rates were enticing buyers to take action.
But that was before Covid-19.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, Los Angeles is wrestling with the same sense of mounting
uncertainty that’s palpable across the globe. Government officials of all stripes have
encouraged social distancing and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued temporary
restrictions on gatherings of 50 people or more, stating, “…our decisions today have the power
to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”

While the impact on restaurants, bars and some retail spots has been almost instantly
detectable, gauging the widespread effects on other industries, including the Los Angeles
housing market, will take some time.

Thought it’s too early for relevant statistical data, Wall Street losses and general economic
instability will certainly factor into housing market activity in the coming months. The
dispensation of information about Covid-19 has been rapid and constantly evolving, but one
thing seems certain – open houses will look very different for the foreseeable future.

In light of the pandemic, many Los Angeles realtors are hosting “virtual open houses.” Potential
tenants can log in and participate in virtual tours via Facebook Live, Instagram or Skype, rather
than risk exposure to dozens of other interested parties. Similarly, video tours provided by
online rental platforms can help fill the gap created by social distancing. Zillow economist Jeff
Tucker remains positive. “It’s still possible to do real estate transactions with a minimal amount
of risk of exposure [to the virus],” he says.

According to a study recently released by Zillow, transaction volumes fell 33%-72% in Hong
Kong during the SARS pandemic of 2003, but housing prices did not suffer significant decline.
While that may offer some insight into similar pandemic trends, it’s still too early to speculate
on precisely how Covid-19 will affect the Los Angeles housing market, which neighborhoods
might be most impacted, or whether prices will plummet under the stress.

For now, realtors and other industry professionals are staying alert and flexible – anticipating a
market impact, even if they can’t be certain of the scope. The coming months will offer more in
terms of traceable statistics and valuable insight from economists.

Jess Sanders, head of the applications department at Los Angeles rental agency Pacific
Listings, has actually experienced an influx of activity in recent days. She noted that none of
her company’s in-place deals have fallen through, and volume is holding steady.

“Virtual tours are in high demand, and some landlords are placing lock-boxes that tenants can
use at their own convenience,” she said. “We’re here to help, and we’re ready to adapt.”

How to Deal with Bad Neighbors

Wondering how in the world to deal with your bad neighbors? Look no further. Moving into the home of your dreams only to learn that your new neighbors are straight out of your worst nightmare is a huge is a vibe killer, but you still have to smile and bite your tongue to keep the peace.

 

I have good news! It doesn’t have to be this way. With a few tips and pointers, this non-existent relationship will flourish into something you could have never imagined! Sit back and take notes while I fill you in on the details!

Steps to Dealing with Bad Neighbors

Although bad neighbors are a pain in the “you know what”, the best thing to do is try to squash the problem before it becomes something major. Here are some steps to help you along the way.

#1) Evaluate the Problem

The first thing to do when attempting to deal with those pesky neighbors in a positive way is to evaluate the problem. Why are you having problems in the first place? Is it something you have done or are they just being picky? In order to figure this part out, ask yourself some questions.

 

  • Are you the quiet neighbor with minimal noise or do you tend to be on the loud side and frequently have company? It’s important to ask yourself this because it’s a major cause of quarrels between neighbors.
  • Do your pets bark a lot, or are they quiet inside dogs. Again, this is one major cause for neighborly feuds.
  • Do you keep your yard clean and appealing to the eye? Some neighbors feel that a messy yard will cause problems for them, aside from the fact that it’s a major eyesore.
  • Are you respecting property lines? They’re there for a reason and it’s a quick way to make an enemy of your neighbor.
  • Do you do things just to get back at them? This is the worst thing you can do if you want to squash your problems with your neighbors.

#2) Create a Friendly Atmosphere and Vibe for your Neighbor.

Speak to your neighbor when you see him/her out. If you see they need a hand, help them. It takes nothing to create a friendly vibe with your neighbor, and in the process, they’ll learn that you aren’t as bad as they initially thought.

#3) Expect the Best From your Bad Neighbor

With any situation in life, if you always expect bad, that’s what you’ll get. If you think negatively about everything your neighbor does or says, that’s going to make you feel more negatively about them and make it harder to make friends with them.

#4) Listen to Complaints from your Neighbor and Try to Work With them.

I understand it’s hard, but if you listen to any complaints your neighbor has about you, it will show them that you are trying to compromise. Sometimes, that’s the only option you have. A neighbor that’s willing to compromise is a neighbor you want to keep because the neighbor that takes your place may be 10X worse (and vise versa).

#5) Document Everything

Neighborly feuds have the tendency to end bad. For this reason, you should document everything that occurs, good and bad, just in case.

The Importance of Getting Along With Your Neighbor

Unfortunately, the best thing to do is attempt to get along with your neighbor. You are stuck with each other, so just try to make the very best of the situation.

 

With these 5 tips, you and your neighbor should be able to get past whatever is causing the problems. As long as you work together, you will be able to not only get past the problems, but you may even be able to create a healthy friendship with them! Good Luck!!

Why Houston Led the State in New Home Sales Yet Again in August

Houston’s real estate market is killing it in new home sales this year. According to HomesUSA.com reports, for the past 3 months, they’ve posted higher sales volumes than the Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market.

How does Houston manage to continue coming in at #1 so effortlessly? Dedication and hard work from the real estate market, as well as the home builders, is the answer.

“Houston home builders continue to show resiliency as overall sales remain strong”, says homesUSA.com’s CEO Ben Canerallero in an announcement.

In August, new home sales in Houston were up slightly from $1,423 in July to $1,432 in August and the average new home price reached $355,942 in August which is a slight increase from $355,773 in July.

This is also a great improvement from August 2018 where homes sold for an average of  $353,780. That’s amazing!

What sets the Houston real estate market apart from the rest?

With Houston being the largest city in Texas, it’s not difficult to see how they’ve been able to make it to the top for three months in a row.

Aside from that, Houston has multiple preferred lenders which means multiple loan programs and more people getting placed in the homes and buildings of their dreams — only one reason they continue to be a rising star in real estate sales across the state.

Another reason for their continued success could be the fact that their average new home price hasn’t shown a significant increase. In fact, It saw a slight decrease from $358,810 in June to $357,118 in July.

Not a large difference, but enough to note.

Will this trend continue in the coming months?

Houston’s recent accomplishments are nothing but motivation to real estate agencies and home builders all over the area to continue working hard to achieve the same goal month after month.

It’s hard to say how long this winning streak will last with Houston, however, they’re right on par to reach the same goal this month.

With continued hard work, Houston’s real estate market is on the mark for continued successes in the coming months.

What this means for home buyers in the Houston Area

Mortgage rates everywhere are at an all-time low which means now is the best time to lock in a low mortgage rate.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the Houston area, this is great news for you. What it means is, you are buying a new home in a thriving real estate market AND you get the benefit of low mortgage rates (in Texas they are an average of 3.68% for a 30 year fixed rate, 3.13% for 15 year fixed rate). Because of this, it will be easy to find the perfect home in the location of your dreams, all within your budget.

The continued growth within the Houston Real Estate Market shows us that supply and demand continue to grow which means there should be no shortage of new homes anytime soon.