Brian Spitz, President and CEO, Participates in 2018 Real Estate Forecast Panel in Houston

There’s no denying that Hurricane Harvey is still top of mind among many Houston homeowners. The dominant thought in everyone’s head: What will happen to the Houston housing market in 2018? While we don’t claim to hold a crystal ball with details of our city’s real estate future, we do have predictions for the market this year.

On Wednesday, January 10, our President and CEO, Brian Spitz, participated in a real estate forecast panel with Darel Daik, President and CEO of Noble Mortgage, Moon Kim, licensed realtor with Lifestyles Realty, and Drew Cox, an appraisal expert with 28 years of experience. The panel discussion was moderated by Houston Chronicle’s Real Estate Reporter Nancy Sarnoff and took place at the Red Oak Ballroom in the Norris Conference Center.

More than 350 Houston real estate professionals attended the panel to hear the panelists’ insight about our city’s future, especially after Hurricane Harvey.

Here are the key takeaways from the 2018 Real Estate Forecast Panel:

  1. Money is made when the market has uncertainty and, right now, it is a good opportunity for investors to buy flooded homes as many homeowners are realizing that it is too difficult or expensive to fix their flooded home.
  2. More homes are on track to be re-built and put back on the market in the spring, just in time for the prime-buying season in the summer.
  3. Flooded homes are still being repaired, which has caused a slight shortage in supplies to fix homes, as the city has seen an increase in home remodels and repairs since Hurricane Harvey. Not only are supplies limited, but the selection of workers is limited, causing a dip in the quality of work.
  4. The consensus has shown that on a first-time flood, about eight-15% of buyers have a stigma about the housing market, but the buyers’ retention and memory of a flooding event usually lasts 12-18 months. In other words, people eventually forget about the flood. Realtors who have worked in flooded areas concur that 12-18 months is accurate. People stop asking if the home flooded and focus on the home’s features and neighborhood qualities rather than the flood stigma.
  5. People are still moving to Houston, which is a good sign for the Houston housing market’s future.
  6. Overall, the Houston market is still a seller’s market. Houston’s home inventory is low at 3.2 months of inventory, compared to 3.4 months in November, just two months after Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area.
  7. In majorly flooded areas, we may see more homes being turned into rental properties. Once the prices stabilize, then those investors may put the properties back on the market, leading to an increase in home appreciation in those majorly flooded areas.

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Nancy Sarnoff (left) moderated the 2018 Real Estate Forecast Panel with (from left to right) Brian Spitz, Moon Kim, Drew Cox and Darel Daik.

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It was a packed house during the 2018 Real Estate Forecast Panel event.

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The panelists and moderator (from left to right) Brian Spitz, Darel Daik, Nancy Sarnoff, Drew Cox and Moon Kim shared insightful thoughts about the Houston real estate market’s future in 2018. 

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