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March 2020 – Impact of Coronavirus on the Katy/Fulshear Real Estate Market

OUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE MARKET is driven primarily by 4- forces. In the order of impact, they are; oil, jobs, interest rates and the stock market. Okay, oil plummeted to an 18-year low of around $20 a barrel, unemployment may reach a level not seen since the Great Depression, the stock market is down 30% and interest rates are actually up from recent lows. So, what happened to the market in March? The results were “shocking”. Not only were they good, they were amazing!

March Results For Zip Code 77441:

I have to admit, it appears that I’m in an episode of the Twilight Zone. As I write this, I’m the only one in the Office, stores are closed and I’m still mystified by my wife Debbie having to search for toilet paper! Meanwhile, we are very busy. Go figure! We’re not the only ones either. Although there was a modest increase in the number of Available homes on the market, homes that went under Contract and entered Pending Status may be approaching an all-time high! Not only that, there were (48) homes that Sold. In short, who would have ever thought that in the midst of a world crisis that is paralyzing our nation, that our local real estate market would be posting extraordinary results. Hello, Rod Sterling!

March Results by Community

Weston Lakes:

Here is more evidence that I am in The Twilight Zone. Active Inventory was very low in February and declined even further in March to just (29). That was more than surprising. Not only did the Actives decline, they did so because of Buying activity. And, that’s the really good news. There are now (11) homes in Pending Status. What is even more surprising is that (4) of these went into Escrow in the last 10-days, further demonstrating that Buyers are out doing just that, buying. This was very rewarding to see, and even more so for me, because (3) of these were our Listings, and all were on the market for just a few days. Only (3) homes Sold though. Not great, yet (2) of these were ours too. Personally, it was rewarding to be able to help our Sellers at this challenging time.


Active Inventory had been dropping to very low levels, so it is not too concerning that it rose in March by (2) to a total of (7). There is (1) home in Pending Status and we are pleased to be representing the Buyer. There was also (1) home that Sold. This was our Listing too, and we were pleased that it Sold 2-days before it was officially Listed! Even Better? It did so at a rewarding $160 per square foot, which was at the highest end of Fulbrook Creeks. However, it’s the higher-end custom homes that are a concern. Buyers in this price range are hard to find, but we’re doing our best to track them down!

Fulbrook On Fulshear Creek:

In my last Newsletter, I focused on just the Resales, and the results were pleasing to see. The results for March were reasonably positive too. Although, Active Inventory nearly doubled, increasing from just (5) to now (9), there are (3) Resales in Pending Status and (2) Listings that Sold. So overall, pretty good news. Even better? It has always been a battle between the New Homes and the Resales. Yet, in March the Resales were the WINNER when you consider there are currently (32) New Homes on the market (nearly 4-times the Resales), yet just (7) Listings in Pending Status. More importantly, only (2) New Homes Sold. The only concern I have is that there are now a total of (41) homes on the market. That’s a lot, especially as we look towards the impact of the coronavirus that will slow buying activity.

Cross Creek Ranch:

“Five” appears to be the magic number for March results. Active Inventory had been trending downwards towards recent lows. There was a modest increase of just (5) though, bringing the total to a (104). Coincidentally, this was offset by the impressive (55) Listings that are in Pending Status. Again, an increase of (5). It was expected that the number of homes that Sold would increase in March. It did, and you guessed it, by (5) to a total of (24). Important to note, is that this was a satisfying month for the Resales. They comprise only 38% of the Active homes on the market, yet were rewarded by having 54% of the homes that Sold, and with an impressive average Sales Price of $451,126.

Fulshear Run:

For the last 3-months, Active inventory has remained constant at just (4). However, in March there was an increase of just (1) to bring the total to just (5). Here’s a bit of insight behind the numbers though. The reason for the increase was a New custom home that entered the market. The home is a masterpiece and is Listed at $1.4 million, and at an eye-popping $331 per square foot. Already an exclusive community, this will serve to elevate the stature of Fulshear Run to an even higher level. All that is needed now, is a Buyer. Unfortunately, in March there were no Listings in Pending Status and none in the Sold column either.

Polo Ranch:

Okay, over the last several months, the results have been a concern with rising inventory and very few Listings entering Pending Status, coupled with the number of Sold homes being nearly non-existent. That changed some in February, and more so in March. Total Active Inventory increased again, but by just (2) to (35). However, there are (20) homes in Pending Status, which is impressive. Only (2) Listing Sold. Importantly though, there is a reason this number is low. It is because most of the homes in Pending Status have not been completed yet. However, the majority of these are nearing completion, so I look forward to seeing impressive numbers of Sold homes in April.

Handling Coronavirus:

I’ve always said that “when you can’t do anything else in life, you become a Realtor!” So, my wife Debbie appreciated that I moved up a rung on the “social ladder” by being deemed an “essential” business. We do take our responsibility seriously though, because even in this crisis, we have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of our Clients.
I see no need to comment in detail regarding the impact the coronavirus will have on the market. Even though there hasn’t been much of an impact yet, there will be, and it won’t be very pleasant. The definitive question is, “what is the best way to safely serve our Buyers and Sellers that need to do just that; buy and sell.” The difficulty rests with Buyers that feel “unsure” about entering someone else’s home, and Sellers, who are “uneasy” about Buyers entering their home. Both very valid concerns.
To accomplish a “safe” showing to the benefit of all parties, we instituted protocols that should help. First, our Listings have 3-D virtual tours that allow Buyers to preview homes in amazing detail from the safety of their own home. This helps the Buyer qualify the homes and thus reduces the number of homes that they actually want to visit. This in turn, reduces the number of showings a Seller will have. Importantly, if there is to be a showing, we have Sellers confirm they have no symptoms, they have disinfected their home, have left lights on and interior doors open. The Buyer has to confirm they don’t have any coronavirus symptoms and have not travelled recently from either outside the US or from any “hot spot” in the US. Additionally, to the benefit of all, Buyers are instructed not to touch anything other than the front and back doors. Lastly, no children are allowed. We are all in this together, so we welcome any suggestions you may have.
As often stated, I believe that there is an abundance of reason why Fulshear is one of the best places to live. I’m hoping one more reason will be that we remain a coronavirus-free “oasis”. To help accomplish this goal, please practice “social distancing” and take all the necessary precautions to protect you and your family. In a few weeks, I’m anticipating that life will return to a semblance of what was “normal”. The image below is symbolic of this horrific event and why it should never be forgotten.
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