The recovery of the housing market from the abyss of the recession continues unabated, according to the latest figures. Home prices nationwide have increased year-over-year for 18 straight months, and have risen by double digits for seven straight months, according to the firm CoreLogic. However, another new survey from the brokerage firm Redfin finds more real estate agents think those higher prices are hurting demand. The Redfin survey shows the number of realtors saying now is a good time to sell dropped from 86% to 72% between the second and third quarters of this year.
Danny Frank, Chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors, agrees that it is definitely a sellers market, especially here. "In Houston it is an absolute marvelous time to sell a house," he tells KTRH. "Homeowners who are selling their houses right now are getting record highs, and the single-family median price reached the highest level for September ever in Houston." Indeed, both the median and average home prices are at record highs in the Bayou City. As for whether those higher prices are hurting the buyers market, Frank says it depends on what kind of buyer you are. "If you're looking to buy a house to stay in for awhile, this is a great time...If you're looking to buy a house and have it for a very short time this may not be the best time."
While home prices are rising nationwide, they are especially surging here in Houston because of increased demand brought on by the booming local economy. "Houston has approximately 2,000 people per month moving to the area, and we just don't have enough houses to go around right now," says Frank. "So it's a supply and demand thing." That trend of exploding prices is what has many agents concerned about another slide if buyers shy away. Frank doesn't see that happening, at least not here. "I don't believe it's going to create a bubble but I do believe it's going to create a housing shortage going forward," he says. "And I don't think home sales will slow down at all during the last quarter of the year."