Countdown to 2017

It’s been a contrary 12 months in the River Oaks real estate market. Here’s a quick recap in advance of our twice-yearly print publication, the River Oaks Market Report that will be published in January.

The price of a barrel of oil dips below $30. Only the bold are buying real estate in River Oaks. Those few purchases, all involving large lot sizes, look like bargains in retrospect.

Continued nervousness results in very few new contracts in River Oaks, but showing activity is noticeably high.

At mid-month the River Oaks real estate market suddenly breaks loose. Showing activity spikes, soon to be followed by new contracts.


Wall Street money starts pouring in to energy investments resulting in a record number of new contracts in River Oaks.

The market starts to cool off ahead of the usual summer slowdown. Several speculative new-construction projects, begun a year earlier, sit on the market unsold.

Contrary to expectations, more than a dozen properties close, a record for River Oaks. Many of these have been in contract for a while. It was clear, however, that if buyers and sellers had not been so cautious at the start of the year, sales numbers would have been much higher and evenly spread out.


We see a sudden flurry of speculative new-construction sales ‒ some more transparent than others.

The unusual sales activity continues, with more showing and new-contract activity than one would expect in August. Again, this is largely because of the pent-up demand resulting from extreme caution at the start of the year.

Showing activity plummets by mid-month, although the month had begun strongly. New contracts drop to zero ‒ very unusual for September. Agents blame election-year nerves.

Showing activity continues to fall, but new contracts pick up. Many buyers are finally making decisions on properties they viewed many months earlier.


Showing activity falls even further. Sellers feel neglected, but there is an underlying regeneration of steady strength in this market that will manifest itself in the coming months. However, inventory drops suddenly.

We expected a strong a strong finish to this year, but were pleasantly surprised by just how strong it appears to be: At least six sales are scheduled to close in December ‒ more than in any recent year.

And 2017?
There is unmistakable momentum in the River Oaks real estate market as well as pent-up demand. We believe that 2017 will begin strongly, as long as those sellers who have been holding off from the market finally decide to plunge in and inventory loosens up.

Economic forecasters, even those on the conservative side, believe that Houston’s next year will be an improvement over 2016. Ready to sell your home or look for a new one? Call us at 713-240-2611 for a consultation.