At the end of 2015, local economists and Houston real estate experts were focused on the continued layoffs that were occurring in the energy industry and the falling price of oil across the country. They predicted that 2016 might be a slow year for real estate, but Houston and northwest Harris County proved the industry elites wrong. And, new development continues to satiate new construction home buyers in communities such as Bridgeland & Fairfield in Cypress.
Conversely, 2016 was a boom year for the Houston real estate market. Throughout most of the year, the market was steady and homes were selling — but it was in November and December that it really heated up. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, there were double-digit sales increases in the final months of the year, spurring a sense of excitement about what’s in store for 2017.
Facts to Note About the 2016 Housing Market in Houston
- There were more than 76,400 single-family home sales recorded in 2016, which was a 3 percent increase over 2015.
- Inventory increased slightly during the first half of 2016, which was beneficial to buyers who were looking for a home in Houston or northwest Harris County. However, inventory did decrease and become more competitive toward the end of the year.
- The median sales price of a single-family home in the Houston area was $225,903. The median sales price increased by 2.7 percent from 2015 to 2016.
What to Expect in 2017
- In 2017, Harris County sellers are expected to list their homes, having been motivated by the increase in both sales and home prices in 2016. This could cause an increase in inventory, which can slow down the growth of the market. However, it’s good news for buyers who are looking to shop in a market that is slightly less competitive.
- The Home Buying Institute notes that rising mortgage rates and increasing in inventory may cool down the Houston real estate market in 2017.
- Buyers and sellers will both enjoy an increased limit in their loan rates this year in Houston. For sellers, this means that prospective buyers will be able to increase their budgets and focus on higher-priced homes. For buyers, this allows them to extend their reach and move into the home of their dreams. This may invigorate the luxury real estate market, particularly in the affluent suburbs in northwest Harris County.
While news of a market slow-down might seem disappointing to real estate agents in Houston after such an exciting year to 2016, it’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily bad news for the Houston real estate market. A calm market may be inviting to buyers and sellers who may not otherwise want to list or purchase a home, which could instigate more growth and development in the market.