1. House viewing activity got off to a quick start in January 2019. The previous two years were very slow to start by comparison. One has to ask if the sudden increase of inventory was a factor this year.
  2. Consequently, new contracts surged in March and April, and May looks promising, too. By comparison, in 2018 the peaks came in June and August, which was peculiar.
  3. There was no getting away from the fact that, as of mid-May 2019, there were 100 houses for sale in River Oaks, plus seven lots. That’s more that we have ever seen since we started producing the River Oaks Market Report in 2001.
  4. Thankfully, of those 107 listings currently on the market in River Oaks, more than 20 are (as we write) in pending contracts. Phew!
  5. By mid-May 2019 there are only two lot sales closed. Neither were to spec builders, and they were at each extreme of the market – i.e. $1.7 million and $4.6 million.
  6. However, there are additionally nine or more pending contracts for lots/lot values, five of which were going to speculative builders.
  7. More intriguingly, four of these lots going to spec builders are in the half-acre-plus category.
  8. Those would have to translate into speculative new construction in the $10 million-plus category … or is there some new math at work here?
  9. On a positive note, there has been one sale of an $8 million-plus spec house in 2019, and there were two in 2018.
  10. Still on the subject of those mammoth spec houses, there are already three offerings in the $8 million-plus category. In our view, adding another four seems like risky business.