While COVID cases are on the decline again, home sales seem to be following that same pattern as buyers hit the pause button on their home search. Following over 12 months of a buying frenzy that pushed home prices 20-30% above the market, buyers seem to be fed up with multiple offers and overpaying for homes, so we have seen a lull in sales.
There are multiple other symptoms that seem to have hit our housing market since the COVID buying frenzy of 2020 and 2021. In addition to Buyer fatigue, Sellers seem to be holding off on putting their homes on the market because inventory levels remain at an all-time low. For the buyers that are out there looking to buy a home, the search is excruciatingly slow, like in Spring Branch, where I only see 2 new listings a day! In the Katy market, inventory levels of active homes for sale remain under 200.
So, you would think that it is a Seller’s advantage out there with only a few homes to choose from, but there is some inventory that has been sitting, so buyers appear to be particular about their home selection again. Another symptom of buyer’s fatigue is that I have seen more homes fall out of contract after a multiple offer bidding war. Buyers seem to be offering above list price to get a home under contract but then pull out quickly due to buyer’s remorse. Perhaps they are feeling the pressure of overpaying for a house and they are wanting to back off until they have more options.
The last symptom, (although I am sure there are many others that I have not covered) is the impact on rental properties. Rental properties seem to be leasing immediately with over 20 applications within a week. Not only are we seeing companies hiring and relocating families into Houston again, but many homeowners that chose to sell their home while prices were high, found it difficult to buy a home in a Seller’s market, so they resorted to a rental until this COVID market cooled. The COVID market has cooled, but with inventory levels remaining at an all-time low, relocation on the rise, and many homeowners waiting for more inventory, we should see another surge of home sales in 2022!
By Sherry Campbell