Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we featured Paul Silverman, Realtor with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty in Houston. Paul has worked in the real estate industry for 15 years, with his wealth of experience working as a listing broker for high-end builders, new-home sales counselor, new-home construction manager, marketing director, and sales manager.
Houston Agent (HA): Is the lack of inventory affecting the amount of listings you’re sending clients?
Paul Silverman (PS): Absolutely. The biggest problem with this shortage is that it produces very few options for people to buy, and along with that, it’s also inflated the prices at historic levels. It has also shifted the paradigm in buyer-seller relations, definitely transferring it into a seller’s market. Sellers aren’t willing to make repairs and unwilling to make concessions if the appraisal comes in low. The biggest problem I have with it is that it’s created such a sense of urgency with buyers. It’s very difficult to tell someone “You’ve got to decide now whether you want this or not.”
HA: Do you see the increasing mortgage rates affecting the market?
PS: The mortgage rates have created an interesting effect because we needed them to go up a little bit, because there were a lot of people sitting on the fence thinking “Oh, I’ll just wait a couple months cause the rates keep going down.” That initial pick-up is good cause it get’s people to actually buy instead of waiting for rates to go down. Unfortunately, when you do that in a market that is very low on inventory, you can further see the feeding frenzy it’s created.
HA: With Exxon Mobile predicted to be done with it’s construction by the end of the year, do you see it affecting where people will choose to purchase homes?
PS: Yes, I have seen the Spring and The Woodlands areas have an amazing surge in prices and activity because of the merger. Another big thing Realtors are confronting is the extended construction times on new homes. I actually spent 10 years in the building industry, so I see both sides of it.