Despite National Trend, No ‘Dramatic Changes’ in Longview Housing Market | Local

Former Colorado residents Heather Frank and her husband, Jordan, have found their answer to rising home prices and higher interest rates in Texas.

The couple recently moved to Diana with their youngest son because, she says, “it got too expensive to stay there (in Colorado).”

“The housing market in Colorado is just abysmal,” she said, adding that Texas better matches her family’s morals while offering better schools and a better environment. They both work remotely, which allows them to relocate. They opened their search statewide and found what they wanted in Diana, complete with land, four bedrooms, an office, and a swimming pool.

“The house we have here would have cost well over a million dollars in Colorado. …” Heather Frank said. “We knew we couldn’t afford what we wanted in Colorado.”

They paid about $9,000 more than the asking price for the house, which was around $380,000. Giving the previous owners time to rent the house briefly before moving out seems to be the thing that sealed the deal, Frank said.

The Associated Press reported that with interest rates rising, the number of Americans applying for mortgages is down significantly from a year ago, which could mean the market for buying houses slows down. But some East Texas real estate agents are not seeing the local market following some of the dire predictions.

Kaliegh Payne

“From someone in the field, that’s not what we’re seeing,” said Kaliegh Payne, a real estate agent with Sugar Magnolia Properties in Longview, where Melanie Northcutt is a broker. Payne represented the Franks.

People like the Frank family help boost the housing market in Texas and East Texas.

“From a local perspective and from an agent perspective, we still have a plethora of out-of-state and out-of-town buyers looking to come to our area. We are working with these people every day,” Payne said. . “You would think, just seeing the news, that it’s slowing down. From a local perspective, we still have a lot of people trying to find homes here and the area is still competitive.”

Bryan Robinson, executive vice president of mortgages for Texas Bank and Trust, said there has been “a slight drop in mortgage applications.”

“But overall we’re still seeing a healthy level of apps,” he said. “We anticipated a decline, but, in general, I’m still happy with the lending activity we’re seeing compared to national averages.”

In the Longview real estate market, median home prices are still higher than a year ago. Second-quarter prices were up 17.6% from a year ago to $239,288, according to information from realtors at the Longview Area Association. Active registrations, however, rose 10.4% to 181.

“If you’re in a sought after area and the house is something sought after, we always see multiple offers, cash offers, ask price or above in the market and things are contracted within days,” said Payne.

“We still have a shortage of inventory, especially from a national perspective,” Payne said, but she doesn’t see “dramatic changes” in the housing market.

Home inventory months on the market in Longview fell from 1.9 in the first quarter of 2021 to 2.2 in the second quarter of this year.

“Now it’s always a low level of inventory that causes price appreciation,” Robinson said. “We would like to see a level closer to 4-5 months, which is healthy and should also help prices stabilize.”

Rising mortgage rates and inflation could also affect the market going forward, Robinson said.

“It creates some hesitation among potential buyers who may have to consider whether or not they want to enter the market,” Robinson said.

John Wampler, president of the Greater Tyler Association of Realtors, explained that the pandemic, the presidential election and the general political state of the country had caused sellers to retreat from 2020, contributing to fewer homes on the market. the market and other pressures. Higher interest rates will help replenish inventory, he said, so buyers can find a home.

In Smith County, the median home price rose 22% to $311,017 in the second quarter from a year earlier. Active listings also rose 43.4% to 568. Months of inventory rose to 1.9 from 1.3 in the first quarter of 202, according to the Tyler Area Association of Realtors.

Rising interest rates have slowed the “intensity” of buyers, including investors. But he said it was still a good time to buy a house. Interest rates are “still not in this terrible spot” looking at historical interest rates, he said.

He pointed to the medical school coming to Tyler, the number of houses being built and other industries moving to Texas as reasons the area is “very pretty.”

The Texas real estate market is expected to have a banner year, he said.

“Texas is in an ideal situation,” Wampler said.

The Associated Press reported that financial data firm Black Knight estimates that rising mortgage rates have increased a typical homebuyer’s monthly payments by 44% year-to-date. Additionally, the average mortgage payment doubled to over $2,100. As a result, home sales at the lower end of the market, for homes priced below $250,000, fell more than 30% in June.

In the Longview, the second quarter of 2021 saw prices fall 41.9% in the $100,000 to $199,999 range and 37.9% in the $200,000 to $299,999 range. By the second quarter of this year, that had changed, with 40.4% of prices in the $200,000-$299,000 range and 23.2% in the $100,000-$199.99 range.

In Smith County, the price distribution in the second quarter of 2021 saw 22.9% of prices fall in the range of $100,000 to $199,999 and 38.3% in the range of $200,000 to 299,999 $. A year later, 14.8% were in the $100,000 to $199,999 range and 29.4% were in the $200,000 to $299,000 range, with increases from $400,000 to $499 $900 and from $500,000 to $749,900.

Robinson expects to see some contraction in the housing market, which will strengthen supply and help bring prices down, but not to where they were three years ago.

“In June, according to the Longview housing report, we saw the median price drop to $232,980 from $250,000 the month before,” Robinson said. “For buyers, this is a positive trend. In our area, we are also well below the national median price for new homes sold in June of $402,400 and the median price in Texas of $354,000. So locally, I think we’re still in a good place, but one of the most important things we educate our clients about is the importance of budgeting and that’s especially true in today’s environment. vital for borrowers to understand their budget due to fluctuations in the cost of goods and services for everyday items. Just because you qualify on paper does not mean it is the best financial decision. It is important to leave room in your budget to account for higher prices everywhere.

About Teresa G. Wilson

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