First Time Home Buyer Market Heating Up!

November 11, 2008
Houston and Katy market update:

Overall, the October home sale market continued to show softness as the market pivoted away from some of the higher end homes.  Rentals once again were red hot – up 36% from this time last year with increasing rental rates. Inventory continues to decline the fewest homes available on the market for the last 18 months. This is good news, considering the smaller buyer pool we are currently seeing in our area.

Sales to first-time homebuyers are at their highest in seven years. Over 40 percent of homes recently sold went to first-time buyers, according to a 10,000-person survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Other survey findings include:

  • a record 32 percent of buyers found their houses first on the Internet;
  • almost 90 percent looked for information online during their home search;
  • almost 80 percent were concerned about commuting costs;
  • 43 percent said heating and cooling costs were very important factors when they made their purchase; and
  • more than 40 percent of sellers had to offer incentives to buyers, including assistance with closing costs and home warranty policies.

What does this mean for Katy, TX? It means that homes in the lower spectrum price ranges: $ 250,000 and under are experiencing the most brisk activity in our area. Our current months of inventory of the South Katy area is 4.6 months. This means if homes sold at last years’ pace, it would take this long to sell all available homes if no more homes were added to the market. Our current average days on the market is running 70 or more days – and this will differ when we break down the various price ranges. Homes on the high end are experiencing over 9 months inventory – and that is a lot of homes to compete with. Custom homes over $ 1 million have over 16 months of inventory and must be very competitive on price and ready to wait for a very special buyer.

Our market is so diverse and so fast paced, market information changes constantly. If you would like to receive my video newsletter from Realty Times, post your request here or email me at