While 'staying home' has been the operative phrase for the past six months during the coronavirus pandemic, buying homes is what Americans are doing. The housing market has been red hot in recent months, driven by low interest rates and low inventory of available homes.
But the epicenter of the nation's real estate surge may be right here. "Houston, Texas is one of, if not the hottest housing market in the United States," says Chris Nooney, certified mortgage planner in Houston. "The main reason being there is an exodus from major metropolitan cities around the United States, with people relocating to Texas."
"There is a very limited supply of homes in and around the Houston area, and the population is growing and growing rapidly due to people relocating, not just to Houston but to the state of Texas in general," Nooney tells KTRH.
That limited supply of homes will likely continue, now that the federal government has extended its moratorium on foreclosures and evictions through the end of the year, allowing those behind on payments to stay put longer. That phenomenon has led some analysts to worry about a bubble effect once the moratorium is lifted, but Nooney doesn't see that happening here. "There may be a flattening of home values, but Houston consistently year-over-year has had an average of 2-3 percent appreciation (minus the cost of inflation), and that number has not changed," he says.
For now, with people fleeing troubled cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the sky-high demand will likely continue in places like Houston. "Basically, people are paying over and above what homes are listed for right now, because there's such a lack of inventory," says Nooney.