With cooler weather and falling leaves, autumn is a great time of year in southeast Texas. With regard to the housing market, however, the fall tends to signal a slowdown in home sales in general. This season, home sales in The Woodlands area are slower than they were over the summer and this time last year. The top five percent of the market is experiencing a 24% reduction in the average home sales price. This trend is expected to continue due to the over-inflated prices that occured during the housing boom which is now normalizing.
So, what does this mean for a home buyer and home seller? Looking at this data from both sides of the fence, we can recommend:
• Sellers:
o Fall is not a bad time to put your house on the market. Fewer sellers list during this time, which means that your house has a better chance of being seen.
o Price your home fairly – don’t reach for the stars. You don’t want to have to lower the price, if possible, and you definitely don’t want to have to lower it several times. Trust your realtor’s advice when it comes to the initial listing price.
o Be patient. The quick home sales of the summer don’t typically carry over into autumn, so it may take a few months to sell.
• Buyers:
o Lower inventory availability may mean you don’t find your dream home right away. As we recommended for sellers, be patient. Keep looking and broaden your search criteria – you may find your dream home a few miles further away or with different features than you originally set out looking for.
o Take advantage of still record-low mortgage rates. Calculate your budget carefully, as you may be able to afford more house than you think.
o Rent is continuing to rise, so now is a good time to buy, as this trend is expected to continue as well.
The bottom line is, don’t be put off by market trend numbers. Do what is right for you and your family. This season’s report is by no means dooms-day for either buyers or sellers. What it does signal, is that this is still a good time to buy and sell, but you might not want to wait much longer.

  1. JP O'Grady Canary Gold 4:56