Happy New Year! The Christmas decorations are coming down and everyone is resuming their normal routines again after the holiday break. We ended 2017 with a bang after being hit with Hurricane Harvey and the market did not rebound as we had hoped it would the three months following Harvey.
Ringing in 2018, the stock markets rallied this week and so did oil prices, surging over $60 a barrel for the first time in almost 2 years! Analysts are predicting that prices could go up as high as $80 a barrel in 2018, which will have a positive impact on our real estate market.
If you are reading the newspapers, it seems that Houston’s real estate market picked up after the hurricane, but if you have been trying to sell your home for the last 5 months, your perspective might be different. Home sales did surge in some areas after the hurricane, but how many of those homes were flooded and sold to investors? Flooded homes are a hot commodity and are seeing multiple offers in many cases, while non-flooded homes continue to move slowly.
Why is there such a demand for flooded homes while other homes remain on the market until prices drop? I believe that buyers are looking for deals, and the flooded home is a perceived value. Whether or not the flooded home is truly a deal, buyers perceive these homes to be a deal, just like a foreclosed property. The reality is that by the time you add the rebuild cost to the flooded homes, they may not be the best “deal” on the market, so all costs should be evaluated carefully.
As we move into 2018 and oil prices move into a more positive direction, I am optimistic that our real estate market will continue to revitalize as well. As we pack our holiday decorations away and put 2017 behind us, we look forward to seeing more buyers gain confidence again and we sell more homes in 2018!