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 Jaron Hall, broker/owner of Jaron Hall Properties in Houston. Since 2005, Jaron has been helping clients negotiate successful real estate transactions in Houston, TX.
Houston Agent (HA): We just reported asking prices were up in Houston. Are you seeing such an increase in the listings you present to your clients?
Jaron Hall (JH): Oh absolutely. To give you a really good point of reference, back in April 2013 I listed a single-family home for around $431,000. Last Thursday, I listed an identical home in the same area for $459,900, which had a full price offer in two days. Another client tried to buy an identical dwelling five houses down at full price and missed out on it because it had multiple offers.
HA: When do you think inventory will stop falling?
JH: That’s hard to say. There are so many businesses moving to Houston, like Exxon Mobile, and others. On the commercial side, it’s affordable to get office space and buildings leased. With all these companies down here, there is just an influx of people moving to Houston. Until that stops happening, I don’t see the inventory getting any better. It’s created a crazy seller’s market, in that buyer’s are missing out if they don’t bid on homes fast enough.
HA: A recent study ranked Houston as the second affordable city in the country. Do you see that rank still holding this year? Do you see that affordability continuing with inventory decreasing?
JH: Well, I still think we are at a pretty even keel. Prices have gone up, but they are still not as bad as compared to Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, with Houston being the 4th largest city. I had a client from Northern California who bought a 1400 square foot single-family home for $350,000 in Houston, which would have cost them upwards of $800,000 in California. Even though prices are going up, the fact that we are known as an extremely affordable city isn’t going anywhere.