Houston’s biggest story of 2017, real estate or otherwise, was Hurricane Harvey. It brought everything to a screeching halt. Even in neighborhoods relatively unaffected by flood waters, the buying and selling of real estate paused as though in sympathy with the hard-hit areas of our city.

There was a distinct four- to six-week stutter after the late August storm, but since then many areas of the market have resumed business as usual. (I addressed the post-hurricane situation in some detail in an October market update.)

As we wind down the year and get ready to celebrate the holidays, we can sum up the River Oaks market in three succinct notes:

  • The sales properties in the $4 million-plus range have returned to 2015 levels. This comes after a 2016 spike for the top-tier River Oaks market.
  • Sales of homes priced between $2 million and $4 million will exceed the sales totals of 2016.
  • Meanwhile the availability of homes selling for less than $2 million is drying up as builders have plowed back into the River Oaks market, scooping up the smaller and older starter homes that many buyers would like to recondition and modernize. Instead, the builders are knocking them down and erecting supersized houses on small lots. There are, as I write, between 15 and 20 spec homes in the pipeline that you can expect to see next year.

It’s been, as always, a fascinating year in River Oaks real estate. Look for our River Oaks Market Report, the publication that will thoroughly break down 2017 and offer our thoughts (and even a few predictions) for 2018. The first of our two semi-annual print issues typically hits the mail in early February. Click here to subscribe or buy past copies.

Have a question about buying or selling real estate? Check out our new Q&A column, Ask the Agents. We’d love to answer your questions!

With that, we bid 2017 farewell. Teresa and I wish you a safe and joyful holiday until we meet again.