We haven’t talked to anyone in the past four months without hearing some version of the same question: How is the real estate market during the COVID-19 pandemic?
HAR.com issues monthly updates on the entire greater-Houston market area, as you surely know, and the real estate market varies widely from area to area. We have eyes only for River Oaks numbers, however, and that’s what we present to you in the mid-year edition of the River Oaks Market Report (ROMR), which mails this week.
Cameron has been mining and crunching data that you will see nowhere else. A few quick take-aways for the first half of 2020:
- The high end of the River Oaks market – that is, property sales of $4 million or more – did much better than the middle sector of $2 million to $4 million.
- Virtually all activity stopped in mid-March and remained at a standstill until mid-May. There was far less online viewing activity of River Oaks houses. (This was not true for many other neighborhoods, such as The Heights, where online viewing activity actually rose.) Likewise, there was practically no in-person viewing nor open houses during this time.
- Miraculously, very few sales that were already underway before COVID-19 fell out of contract. We personally had two nice properties close since mid-March.
- Speculative new construction has faded away in River Oaks. In the first half of 2020, there has been just one closing of a spec land purchase. This is a refreshing change from the past two years when spec builders grabbed up so many lower-priced vintage homes, just to bulldoze them.
- For a quick bite of contract activity, see the graph below that shows new contracts signed in each of the first six months of this year.
As always, if you want to drill deeper into a market segment or have questions about River Oaks real estate, shoot us an email or call us at 713-240-2611. We look forward to hearing from you.