Why is the Real Estate Market so Good in The Woodlands?

Of course, the #1 question that I am always asked by friends and acquaintances in regards to my business, is “So, how is the market?”.

Given the national news and what we know and hear about the real estate market around the country, I’m always then asked, “Really?!” after responding with some numbers and an unequivocal “It’s a good market – here in The Woodlands.”

Well, of course, it could be better.  It could be like a few years ago, when homes in The Woodlands took 2 weeks to sell – with multiple full price offers, no doubt.  (But, honestly, that still happens in some cases today.)

So each month I review the actual numbers – those market statistics that come out each month – in order to confirm my gut feelings as I make it through the month with my own buyers, sellers, listing appointments, showings, late-night perusing of the MLS to see what’s pending, what’s closed and for what price.

Here is what those numbers indicate for the year 2010:

  • A total of 1889 homes sold in the year 2010 – down from a total of 1907 homes in 2009.   That’s right – a change of -.94% – as in less than a 1% decline.
  • Sales volume was up 5.46%.  That’s right – this means that average home prices were up as a whole.
  • Average days on the market is creeping up a bit – from a high in 2009 of 83 days to a high in 2010 of 93 days.
  • We are starting 2011 off with 20% more inventory on the market than last year.  This is significant.  However, so far this increased inventory that has been with us for about 6 months, has not affected prices.

And, admittedly there have been some other challenges – difficulty at some price ranges and some consumers remaining on the fence despite showing traffic being brisk.

But why is The Woodlands real estate market, dare I say, relatively “GOOD”?

Here are a few of my thoughts on that:

  • The Woodlands is 35 miles north of Houston where people are still employed and jobs are still available
  • Texas did not have a big bubble to burst – historically, our home prices have appreciated a steady 2% – 4% each year
  • The Woodlands has excellent schools and top-notch amenities
  • The Woodlands has a strong relocation and international contingent
  • The cost of living in Texas is relatively low – relocation buyers are always surprised by how far their money goes in a home purchase and this supports our prices
  • Families that live here usually want to stay
  • Foreclosures remain a very small portion of our market

It has definitely been an interesting year in real estate – The Woodlands included!  Home-buyer tax credits, interest rates, the national media and politics impacted the normal cycle and dynamics of the market for sure.  But overall – in the big picture – I know many families and real estate professionals that are grateful to live and work in The Woodlands.  Are you so lucky?  I know I am!

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