Laurel Park Real Estate Market Update | December 25, 2023
Today I will be sharing with you our perspective on the local real estate market here in Spring, Texas, specifically a market update for the neighborhood of Laurel Park. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, or just keep an eye on the market, we look forward to being your resource.
What is happening in the real estate market in Laurel Park?
We currently have 1 homes pending, with 2 homes sold in the last two weeks, averaging a sale price of $145 a square foot. Two homes sold over the asking price.
Compared to the two weeks prior: Homes sold are up from 0 homes sold to 2 homes sold with the average sales price is $452,500. Every home is different, with different features, so don’t forget to ask us for your annual equity review if you are curious about your personal home. You can request your free home evaluation here or email us here.
If we look at how fast the move-in ready homes are going, the demand in this area has not surpassed the supply, making it still a great time to sell. Buyer agents around Houston are seeing a slow in the real estate market, but it isn’t affecting every neighborhood. I know the interest rates rising has been one deterrent from some buyers purchasing right now, but that isn’t your ideal buyer anyways!
The most desirable homes in the area are still selling the first weekend or first week they hit the market (a really good coming soon campaign, like we do at Jo & Co. allows you to sell faster, for more money).
Check out the graphic below for a larger overview of the real estate market for the last two weeks in Laurel Park.
My Two Cents: What I learned this week
As we close the chapter on a year that's been full of ups and downs in the residential real estate world, let's take a moment to reflect before we jump into our predictions for 2024. Here's the scoop from the folks at Zillow: buying a home might still be a bit of a stretch on the wallet in 2024, though possibly not as tight as it was this year. Don't expect a huge plunge in mortgage rates, but there's a bit of buzz about the Federal Reserve hinting at rate cuts next year, which could mean a bit of a break for prospective buyers.
Now, let's talk about those homes that need a little TLC – they're likely to get more love as people compete for more affordable options. Plus, a bunch of homeowners might just get tired of waiting for rates to drop and decide to make their move due to life's ever-changing tides.
Zillow's Senior Economist Orphe Divounguy has some interesting tidbits to share, so let's dig in.
**What's Happening with Home Listings?**
2023's been a tight year for home listings, keeping the competition pretty intense. A lot of folks hung onto their homes, thanks to those super-low interest rates on their mortgages. The start of the year saw just about 884k homes up for grabs, which is actually pretty low compared to previous years.
But here's the deal – a lot of homeowners are eyeing moves that suit their changing lifestyles, whether that's upsizing, downsizing, or just shifting locations. Zillow thinks these folks are going to stop playing the waiting game for lower rates and just go for it.
What this means for the market is potentially more homes up for sale, which is good news for buyers. It could help spread out the demand and maybe even soften those steep prices a bit.
**The Takeaway for Buyers and Sellers:**
If you're looking to buy, brace yourself for some competition come springtime. But sellers, you're not off the hook either. 2023 wasn't always smooth sailing, especially for pricier homes. To stand out, homes might need to be priced more competitively, maybe spruced up a bit to catch those buyers' eyes.
**And About Those Interest Rates...**
Orphe Divounguy from Zillow points out that it's not just the high mortgage rates that are a headache – it's the unpredictability that's really throwing people off. The last couple of years have been a wild ride with rates, but there's a glimmer of hope that things might settle down a bit in 2024. Inflation's on a downward trend towards the Fed's 2% target, which could mean a more stable housing market.
Divounguy suggests that we might not see as many dramatic changes in mortgage rates, but don't hold your breath for a big drop, even with potential Fed cuts.
**The Takeaway Here:**
For those of you looking to buy, even a small dip in rates could be your cue to lock in a mortgage. Stay in the loop with mortgage rate news and keep an eye on inflation and labor market reports – they can be big influencers on mortgage rates.
**Improving Affordability: Wages on the Rise**
Here's some good news: real hourly wages are climbing back up after taking a hit during the pandemic. When you factor in inflation, Americans are actually seeing an increase in real wages. Plus, the stock market, after a bit of a slump in 2022, has bounced back – the S&P 500 is up about 16% from last year. This means more financial muscle for housing as we head into the new year.
Divounguy notes that with declining rates recently, there's been a spike in mortgage applications. A stable economy with steady or slightly falling rates is helpful for the housing market. Affordability looks like it's on the upswing.
**The Bottom Line for Buyers:**
When you're coaching your buyer clients, focus on the bigger picture – monthly costs as a percentage of income, not just mortgage rates. This will give them a clearer idea of what they can realistically afford.
What is happening in the real estate market nationally?
Mortgage rates were relatively unchanged last week. Home builder sentiment inched up in December. Building permits slipped in November while housing starts surged. Existing home sales climbed in November as well while the Q3 GDP estimate was lower than expected. Inflation was lower than expected as well while consumer spending and personal income were as expected.
|MORTGAGE RATES CURRENTLY TRENDING
|THIS WEEK'S POTENTIAL VOLATILITY
- Will more home buyers be back in action in 2024? Listen Now >>
- Bruce Smith talks real estate and the impact of interest rates. Watch Now >>
- Home sales are building momentum for the new year. Read Now >>
The National Association of Home Builders housing market sentiment index climbed by three points to reach a level of 37 in December, which was higher than expected. Out of the index’s three components, the prediction of single-family sales over the next six months jumped by 6 points to reach a level of 45 – 10 points higher than December 2022.
Building permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,460,000 in November, which was a 2.5% month-over-month decline from the month before. Housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,560,000, a 14.8% month-over-month surge.
Mortgage application submissions slipped 1.5% during the week ending 12/15. The Refinance Index slipped 3% while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 1%.
Existing home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3,820,000 in November, a 0.8% increase from the month before.
Continuing jobless claims were at 1,965,000 during the week ending 12/9, a decline of 1,000 from the week before. Initial jobless claims were at 205,000 during the week ending 12/16, an increase of 2,000 from the week before.
The GDP estimate for Q3 was lower than expected at 4.9%.
Review of Last Week
SANTA GETS READY... A Santa Claus Rally is a rise in stocks during the last five trading days of the current year and the first two of the next. Friday, Santa got off to a good start, as the three major indexes logged weekly gains.
Give credit to the usual suspects: lower inflation, expected Fed rate cuts, and hints at a soft landing for the economy, including healthy gains in personal income and spending, and jobless claims way below recession levels.
Best of all, November PCE Prices, the Fed's favorite inflation measure, reported the first monthly drop in prices in more than three and a half years. It's still up 2.6% the past year, but getting close to the Fed's 2% target.
The week ended with the Dow UP 0.2%, to 37,386; the S&P 500 UP 0.8%, to 4,755; and the Nasdaq UP 1.2%, to 14,993.
Bond prices barely rose overall, with the 30-Year UMBS 5.5% ending down just .02, at $100.08. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate continued to fall in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW… The National Association of Realtors 2023 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report found that baby boomers (ages 58-76) were the largest share of both buyers (nearly 40%) and sellers (more than 50%).
PENDING HOME SALES, HOME PRICES, JOBLESS CLAIMS... Just like Existing Home Sales, the Pending Home Sales index of signed contracts for those homes should reverse course in November. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index is expected to continue up a tad. Economists see Initial Unemployment Claims holding at current low levels, reflecting a still strong labor market.
The stock and bond markets will be closed next Monday, January 1, New Year’s Day.
After five months of declines, Existing Home Sales reversed course in November, hitting a 3.820 million annual rate. Prices rose only modestly, the median price now up just 4% versus a year ago.
Builders saw a very active November, as Housing Starts surged nearly 15% for the month, with single-family starts up more than 42% from a year ago. Single-family Building Permits increased, as they’ve done every month this year.
At odds with the positive news, New Home Sales dipped in November, but sales are still up from a year ago. Good news for buyers, the median sales price of new homes is down by 12.5% from the peak late last year.
Can we sell yours?
So if you are in need of a listing agent, we would love the opportunity to see your home and meet you of course. My husband, Edward, and I, look forward to being the brokerage and team for you! You can reach out to us via email: [email protected] & [email protected] or telephone: 832-493-6685.
If you are curious 'How to get more money for your home when listing it for sale', check out this blog post.
I hope you have found this blog post super helpful. If there is anything else we can do for you, including helping you sell (or buy) a home, I would be honored to assist. I hope you have a great day/evening. Cheers, E + J.
We are so happy you found our little corner of the interwebs. We look forward to y'all reaching out to us. We love to answer questions and welcome them. Recently we created some local maps, and you can download those by clicking the image/link above. Below, you will find an index of some very helpful information to assist you in learning more about the Houston suburbs. If you are relocating to our neck of the woods, we hope you reach out to us, because we would love to help you by being your local realtor and friend. Thoughtfully written for you. Hugs, Jo.
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