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 Julie Webber, a real estate professional with Roger Martin Properties in West University Place. A current resident of West University and former resident of the River Oaks area, Webber has expertise inside the loop as well as Tanglewood and Memorial. She has been a real estate professional since 2010, and was named a Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors, and “Realtor of the Week” in the Houston Chronicle. In addition to being a real estate professional, she has experience in fund raising, event planning and marketing.
When not showing properties, Webber enjoys writing for Clever Confidante, a blog on style with a heavy emphasis on interior design. She also enjoys sports, traveling and spending time with her two sons, Drew and Mitchell.
Houston Agent (HA): Asking prices seem to be slowing down nationwide. Are you noticing this trend in your area of Houston as well? Why do you think that is?
Julie Webber (JW): Asking prices in our area remain somewhat high due to a low inventory and high demand. However, sellers shouldn’t price too aggressively because the likelihood of a fast offer or multiple offers diminishes considerably when priced above the market. When houses are appropriately priced, many times the seller will get more than the asking price due to competing offers. What makes the best offer is not always highest price but also terms: cash vs a mortgage, closing date and other considerations. With Houston’s growing economy, I don’t see prices coming down soon.
HA: Do you see Houston entering a housing bubble in the near future? Why or why not?
JW: I don’t see a housing bubble coming soon. Last year, Houston was No. 1 in job creation in the nation. With 29 Fortune 500 companies here and more on the way, we are second only to New York City but with a much lower cost of living. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recognizes Houston as the best city to live and work in the entire US, based on a strong economy, jobs, living costs and fun things to do. Furthermore, Forbes rated Houston as the #1 place to buy a home.
HA: As 2014 approaches, do you have any predictions for the beginning of the new year?
JW: Typically, our housing market seems to be the most robust from January to June. However, with so many people moving here, there is hardly a slow time. People are usually ready to get their house on the market after the holidays.
Since my neighborhood and company are close to the Medical Center in West University, we always see an influx of new doctors during that time. Fortunately, the Medical Center is just one of our top industries. With energy, the Port of Houston, Fortune 500 companies as well as up and coming businesses, almost every area of Houston is booming. I think people moving here will be pleased with the Houston lifestyle but also the nice people and the way Houston embraces new opportunities.