Jan 4, 2023 - Real Estate

Houston's real estate market will relax in 2023

graphic of 2022 becoming 2023 with a keyhole as the "0"

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Local experts predict 2023 will bring more normalcy to the Houston-area housing market.

The big picture: As the hype and fear over a real estate crash subsides, homebuyers and -sellers will resume buying and selling at a pace that was common before the pandemic, forecasts Jennifer Wauhob, the 2022 chair of the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).

But, but, but: Affordability remains a huge challenge for want-to-be homeowners who missed last year's low-interest-mortgage boat.

Here are some other housing market predictions:

1. Buyers will have more leverage

There will be a greater availability of inventory and a more relaxed environment, according to Nicole Lopez-Cummins, a team lead at Mark Dimas Properties.

What they're saying: "Buyers will be able to make more well-thought decisions without the drastic rush to land a property," Lopez-Cummins tells Axios.

Between the lines: Last year, especially in the early months with low interest rates, a lot of the offers were coming above the asking price. But now, buyers are offering more on par with the asking price, says Cathy Treviño, the 2023 HAR chair.

2. Seasonal cycles of the past will return

The forecasted dip in interest rates should allow hesitant buyers more purchasing power, predicts Paul Silverman, director of agent growth at Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty.

What they're saying: "With more buyers able to purchase, that helps fuel the cycle of sellers being able to upsize or downsize with an ample pool of buyers for their current home," Silverman tells Axios.

Of note: January's naturally one of the slowest months of the year, according to HAR's Treviño. She says after holiday spending, buyers tend to hold off till the spring and summer months.

  • Prospective buyers have shifted to the rental market as they pause their search until economic conditions stabilize or improve, Treviño says.

3. Suburbs will continue to boom

Houston is continuing to grow outwards, and there has been massive growth in the suburbs as people want to purchase properties with more space, according to Treviño.

Details: The Woodlands and Katy are very hot suburb markets, and suburbs in the northeast — like Kingwood, Atascocita and Crosby — are flourishing as well, Treviño notes.

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