Houston's housing market shows record low availability

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- if you're looking to buy a home in the Houston area right now, you better get ready.

Not only are prices up, but availability is at a record low.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors, new listings were down this week by nearly 15% from this time last year.

"I actually showed a client a home in Cypress last week that had been listed two days on the market," explained realtor Tiffany LaRose. "It had 150 showings the second day and received 110 offers that day. My clients and I did not win that house."

LaRose mentioned that due to low inventory, some buyers are paying over value for homes and accepting terms they probably shouldn't.

"They come back and say, 'We're not going to accept an offer unless it's cash,' or 'We're not going to accept an offer unless you waive the appraisal,' or 'We won't make any repairs,' and the buyer just has to make that choice at that time if it's something they want to get into," LaRose continues.

Even if you're already under contract to build a new house, don't think you can let your guard down.

"A lot of builders are letting people out of their contracts with no penalties so that they can turn around and sell at a higher price," LaRose adds.

"This is not a market for the casual buyer. You can get a home, but it's competitive out there," said HAR chair Jennifer Wauhob. "You only want to be making offers if you're making strong offers."

So, what's next in this ever-changing market?

"This is a supply and demand issue, so it's not going to burst, we're not going to see a sudden drop in prices," said Wauhob. "Everyone I've listened to says prices will continue to go up in the next two years."

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