Realtors in Houston see increase in home sales during pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Despite economic setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Houston housing market is seeing more home sales than it did a year ago.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), single family home sales increased by 15.7 percent in June compared to June 2019. Also, the average price increased to $262,000 compared to $252,900 a year ago.

"What happened is, our spring market, which is normally February, March, and April, was delayed. As soon as they opened the state back up, the buyers came out of the woodworks looking for larger homes," said realtor at Greenwood King Properties and HAR board member Tim Surratt. "They discovered that they couldn't manage living, working and homeschooling their kids in a smaller home, so everyone went out looking for larger homes."

The cost of living is also reeling in buyers from out of the region and state who are eager to have more space at a cheaper price. Surratt said nearly one out of four home buyers he sells to have been from out of state.

"It's about 20 percent cheaper than Dallas, and about 25 percent cheaper than Austin, so people are being priced out of both of those markets and they are coming to Houston," Surratt said. "We have people coming from out of town that continue to relocate to Houston, and a great deal of them are even coming for the medical center, so I think that's a big driver of our jobs right now - the Houston medical center."

Surratt told ABC13 there's less than a three month supply of home inventory on the market. A balanced market usually means six months of housing supply on the market.

"In my opinion, some sellers are not putting their house on the market because of the pandemic, and they don't want people coming through their homes and dealing with all of that while their house is on the market, so they are choosing not to put their houses on the market," Surratt said. "That means the homes that are on the market are in more demand because we don't have enough supply."

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