While doing research on the housing market in South Texas, our team came across two bits of data that seemed...contradictory. One real estate report said that housing prices were down 6.5% in high-risk areas, especially in areas prone to flooding.
But another report said the exact opposite: that median housing prices were climbing higher than prices in the U.S. overall.
Today, our Hurricane Harvey blog is focusing on how the housing market holds very different futures for different South Texas families.
Home Prices Increasing for the Fortunate
According to Redfin spokesperson Alina Ptaszynski, neighborhoods on higher ground and unflooded homes are seeing greater demand in the Houston market.
“Sellers of homes that were not flooded now think their homes are worth more than they were a month ago. Some sellers are asking high prices for those properties,” she adds. It's not just a local trend, either—median home prices are up 65 percent in high-risk disaster areas, compared to 45 percent overall.
Nancy Almodovar, CEO of Nan & Co. Properties in Houston, says, "We are very busy within the $750,000-and-up market.”
How Other Homes Are Faring
While median home prices increased, median home prices fell in areas most prone to flooding and hurricane storm surge. That would include the floodplains where hundreds of homes were located, but may also include the hundreds of homes that flooded without being marked high-risk.
Unfortunately, homeowners who have the capital to buy a home may have a hard time finding one for a fair price. “Some buyers whose homes were badly damaged or destroyed want to find a new home quickly. They may be willing to pay a premium to get a home under contract and know they’ll have a place to move to,” Ptaszynski says.
People looking to sell their lots will find plenty of buyers—albeit buyers likely to ask for less than what the property once demanded. “...investors see these damaged homes as an investment opportunity. With strong market conditions, there are a large number of investors with cash to invest.”
These investors plan on building homes that are built higher and less prone to flooding, which will command a higher price tag than the prior home had.