Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.
This week, we talked with Lance Loken, a Realtor with Keller Williams and President/CEO of the team business, Loken Group. He has been in the real estate business for two-and-a-half years. This year, his company has a sales volume of approximately $70 million with at least 400 transactions. Loken has a B.S. in accounting from Alvernia College. In his spare time, Loken enjoys tennis, volleyball, organizing events and wine tasting.
Houston Agent (HA): How healthy is Houston’s mortgage market looking?
Lance Loken (LL): The mortgage market is extremely strong, even though the interest rates have increased quite a bit since the beginning of the year. It seems like the forecast is stating that it will, for the most part, be in the fives by the end of the year. The market looks like it’s going to stay strong in Houston for the next couple of years.
HA: Technology is constantly changing, especially in the real estate industry. How do you keep up with it?
LL: We attend a lot of seminars and workshops. I’m also on Facebook quite a bit – I’m a part of a mastermind Facebook group where we discuss technology on a daily basis. Instant gratification is key. Everybody wants to know everything right then and there. The faster we react, the faster people are satisfied.
HA: What sorts of things are your buyers looking for in a home? And has this changed in the past year?
LL: For the luxury market, location is key. The amenities they’re looking for is pretty amazing. A lot of people are paying cash for the luxury homes.
The luxury market has sustained itself pretty well, and I’m definitely seeing it go up a little bit. But below the luxury market, the lack of resale inventory is definitely very low. Right now, the available inventory has increased from 3.3 months to 3.4 months, which is a good sign that there’s more homes becoming available, but it’s still substantially less than what it was within the last couple of years.