Happy New Year! 2018 ended with more of a thud than a bang as both oil prices and the stock market dropped in December. The national media is predicting a potential recession in 2019, but I have to recall that typically the Houston economy and real estate market does not follow the rest of the nation.
I am optimistic that 2019 will be a good year for the real estate market in Houston. According to Market Watch, “Gasoline prices at the pump have dropped to their lowest in about a year and half, but could jump by 35% as soon as May, with output cuts by major oil producers expected to boost the price of oil, according to gasoline-price tracker GasBuddy.” While oil prices are not the only driver of Houston’s economy, it is our largest driver, so we should see our real estate market rebound as well.
In the article below, mortgage interest rates should also continue to rise to just above 5%. Please keep in mind, that the average interest rate in the last 20 years is 8%, so 5% is still a reasonable rate. Although the higher interest rate may affect affordability for some buyers, to put it in perspective, a 1% increase (4% to 5%) on a $350,000 home will increase the monthly payment by about $160.
A new year signifies a fresh start! The devastating affects of Harvey will continue to fade into a distant memory as the majority of flooded home owners have either remodeled and moved back home, or they have moved on. We should feel optimistic that a “Harvey” is not likely to happen for a long time, and the bond passed last August will put money into fixing the issues that caused this. Our neighborhoods are coming back better than ever.
At Energy Realty we have lots of big plans to not only assist our community in recovering in 2019, but also to maintain a competitive edge in real estate. It is a constant struggle to keep up with emerging technology, but we continue to stay on the cutting edge to provide the Best Move for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in Houston. I am also working with a team of innovative women to start a grass roots International Festival in the Energy Corridor this year to help revive businesses and interest in what I feel is one of the best places to live in Houston. Stay tuned as our plans emerge into what I hope will become an annual event.
Best wishes to all of you for an amazing 2019!