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Home sales, prices continue to boom in the Brazos Valley

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - It’s a great time to be selling your home in Texas, and sales are booming in the Brazos Valley.

According to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, sales in the Bryan-College Station Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) have increased by 54.4% in quarter 2 of 2021 compared to the same time period last year. A total of 1,434 single-family homes were sold during that time this year.

As a whole, the state is currently experiencing a record high in home sales, hitting 114,772 homes sold in the second quarter of 2021. Local realtor Wendy Flynn says growth in the area and all-time low mortgage rates are just a couple of the driving factors.

“There are also some pandemic-related factors. Working at home is becoming much more acceptable, and so people don’t have the need to live near their office anymore,” Flynn said. “After people had to stay at home for an extended period of time during the pandemic, they realized that they need more space or a home with a dedicated home office space, or maybe a pool. There are a lot of factors combining to create this incredible market.”

The price is rising too. The median price of a single-family home increased by 7.1% to over $240,000 in the Bryan-College Station MSA. Nearly 46% of homes that were sold here in the second quarter of this year cost between $200,000 and $299,999. Flynn says it’s a result of supply and demand.

“It’s kind of happening organically because many homes are selling for multiple offers, so you have multiple buyers submitting competitive offers to purchase a particular property,” Flynn said. “There aren’t that many properties to purchase.”

It’s one reason why the months of home inventory has fallen by 3.7 months since last year, falling from 4.9 to 1.2. Flynn says it’s a clear indicator of the pace of the sales and the number of homes available for purchase. The average home spent 94 days on the market in quarter 2 of 2021 (53 days on the market, 41 days to close), 11 days less than quarter 2 of 2020.

Flynn says if the area were to have four to six months of inventory, buyers wouldn’t feel as frustrated and sellers would still be able to sell their homes with no problem.

“When you have anything three months or below, you’re leaning toward a seller’s market,” Flynn said. “But once you get into the 1.2 months of inventory, that is a very strong seller’s market, just indicating simply that the homes are selling quickly, and there’s not very many available to purchase. We do hear from many people who would like to sell their home that they’re afraid to sell because they don’t know if they’ll be able to find a home to purchase.”

It’s something Laura Walker has experienced firsthand. She’s been in the market since mid-May looking at homes for her parents. They’re retired and looking to move from North Carolina.

“You’ve got to act fast.,” Walker said. “There’s very little time for me to look at a house, and then send them pictures and videos and see what they think, and get a response back before it’s gone. So that’s been interesting.”

Walker also says she was a little bit shocked at the prices of homes when she first started looking.

“I kind of had to re-evaluate my baseline and what I thought things were worth,” Walker said. “Everything I was looking at I thought, ‘This is overpriced. This is overpriced.’ But then I realized if everything is that price, not overpriced, so I had to realign my brain and get my thinking in order.”

“It is hard on buyers right now because if they don’t have the resources to pay over the list price, or if they don’t have the resources to create competitive offers in these multiple offer situations, it can be really challenging for them,” Flynn said.

Flynn says traditionally, the BCS housing market tends to slow down a little bit by September after the academic year starts. She says that could be an opportunity for those buyers who can hang in there and wait until there’s less activity in the fall.

Despite her initial sticker shock and the pace with which buyers need to keep in this market, Walker says she thinks it’s a decent time to be a homebuyer.

“There’s good stuff and it’s going fast, but if you fall into the right thing, it can always be a good move,” Walker said.

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