Oil prices drop, Corpus Christi’s rent prices don’t

corpus-christi-rentalsCORPUS CHRISTI – Plunging oil prices may be a relief for Coastal Bend residents at the pumps, but they’re having little influence on rents or mortgage payments.

Experts predict the falling price of crude will force housing costs in energy-dependent Corpus Christi to drop at some point.

That day won’t come in 2015, they say.

The housing market in Corpus Christi is perhaps the tightest it has ever been for both potential renters and those looking to buy a home. Things won’t change for the rest of the year, despite a rush on home and apartment construction, said Jim Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Oil field workers who lived in apartments in Corpus Christi are moving to Alice, Cotulla and other small towns within the energy play to be closer to work, said Melissa Gomez, a broker for AAA Apartment Locating in Corpus Christi. Others have been moving out of higher-end luxury apartments and into older, more-affordable complexes to cut costs.

The exodus has created hundreds of apartment vacancies since November, but rent prices remain unchanged. Instead of lowering rents, property managers have eased move-in criteria to insure occupancy. Applicants with credit and rental-history blemishes and those whose income is less than three times the cost of rent are no longer being disqualified for apartments.

“We’ll see a decline in occupancy rates here and there … but they (complexes) won’t empty out,” Gomez said.

The average price of homes in Corpus Christi hit a record high of $207,700 in December, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. That same month, the asking rent for a typical apartment in the city was 25 percent higher than it was just four years ago.

Five recently completed apartment complexes have been cleared since March to take in tenants. Another dozen are in various stages of construction and are due to open in coming months.

The Corpus Christi area’s apartment occupancy rate was 92.5 percent in December, according to ALN Apartment Data, a Carrollton-based firm that tracks rental property trends. That’s down from 94.3 percent in November and the record months of December and April, when occupancy hit 95.2 percent.

Average rent in Corpus Christi in December was between $842 and $880, an ALN report said, though it’s not uncommon for newer complexes to ask for more than $1,100 for a one-bedroom home.

Corpus Christi’s low unemployment has been a magnet for thousands of job seekers in the past three years, most of them eyeing work in the Eagle Ford Shale energy play. The trend has slowed recently as energy companies have scaled back shale production, even shaved jobs, trying to remain profitable.

Falling oil prices and cutbacks in shale oil production by energy companies will put “downward pressure” on the local housing market, Lee said. However, the majority of newly constructed apartments are likely to be absorbed by students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and personnel from the nearby Naval air station.

“The overall housing market in Corpus Christi, including single-family rental houses, will likely soften up after reaching its current peak, but the market for apartments might continue to be tight at least the rest of the year,” Lee said.

Apartment occupancy in Corpus Christi in January 2010 was 89 percent, and average rent was about $700.

Warren Andrich, CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, was optimistic about the home sales market, while conceding more rental property was needed in the city.

The Real Estate Center reported that 375 homes were sold in Corpus Christi in December, typically a slow sales month.

The Coastal Bend’s economy, though heavily influenced by the energy industry, is diverse enough to support an increase in housing, Andrich said.

Although homes values are increasing and are being sold at or near their asking prices, Corpus Christi’s inventory of affordable homes — those priced between $125,000-$165,000 — is less than 300 units.

“These are all indicators that we were in need of the additional rentals coming on the market,” Andrich said.

Twitter: @Caller_ChrisRam

Corpus Christi Apartment Market (December 2014)

Occupancy Rate: 92.5 percent

Asking Rent: $880

Effective Rent: $873

Average Apt. Size: 850 square feet

Average Market Rent Breakdown By Floor Plan

Efficiency, $671

1 Bedroom, $753

2 Bedroom, $944

3 Bedroom, $1,084

4 Bedrooms +, $2,181

Source: ALN Apartment Data

Housing Activity (Annual figures)

Year No. of sales Average price Median Price Months of inventory

2004 4,745 $132,100 $113,800 4.6

2005 4,894 $147,300 $125,200 5.0

2006 5,192 $153,300 $130,400 6.2

2007 4,510 $162,000 $136,500 7.4

2008 3,773 $162,200 $138,900 9.0

2009 3,444 $155,500 $134,800 10.2

2010 3,445 $152,300 $136,500 10.3

2011 3,396 $157,500 $135,700 9.5

2012 4,058 $169,900 $142,300 7.1

2013 4,589 $180,700 $152,200 5.3

2014 4,721 $197,100 $168,600 4.5

Source: Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University.

via @callertimes

Construction Resumes on Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi

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Exciting News going on over at Schlitterville.  Progress continues after partnership negotiations have concluded.

KIII News Video
KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Dale Rankin – “Work at the moribund Schlitterbahn Upper Padre waterpark is kicking back into high gear after a refinancing of the 75-acre waterpark and resort went into slowdown in the middle of 2015 due to a redesign of the project which doubled its size.
“We are fully funded and getting back to work,” Project Manager and part-owner Jeff Henry said from his crowded and cluttered office on the site on Tuesday. “ Our self-imposed goal is to have the waterpark finished in 70 days.”
As part of the new deal local businessman Willard Hammonds sold his one-third interest in the project to the Henry family, who own the Schlitterbahn chain and will now own a 67% interest in the local park, with the remainder continuing under the ownership of a group formed by Developer Paul Schexnailder. Estimated cost of the park at the beginning of construction was set at around $50 million, while park officials would not give a final figure for the cost of the park, sources place the number between $75 million and $100,000 million, depending on further changes in the design.
“We will concentrate first on getting park finished,” Henry said, “Our goal is to have the entire park ready to open by Memorial Day.”
But Henry said that while his goal is to have the entire park ready to open this summer, it will be actually be operated under a “brown out” system, in which portions will be opened to the public while others may remain closed.
“When we increased the size of the park,” Henry said, “it now will take 8000 people to fill it up and there is not enough time to do the advertising and planning for that many people this summer, and there is not enough time to hire the staff.”
Checks began going out this week to contractors who were owed back fees, and hiring for the project has now begun.
“We have about 1000 yards of concrete left to pour,” Henry said. “In spite of how it may look we don’t really have that much left to do.”
He said the first priorities will be the Downhill River, an 8000-linear foot waterway that will convey park visitors from one ride to the next, along with the Flow Rider feature which produces a standing wave. He said work on the 90-room hotel at the site will have to wait, however the exterior of the building is expected to be finished by the end of September to meet the deadlines set for $117 million in tax incentives from the City of Corpus Christi.
“We can’t there this summer on the hotel,” he said. “We will have the first floor and possibly the second floor open this summer.”
The fourth floor of the building has been redesigned to include a music venue large enough for about one thousand people.
As a side note, the machinations of building the park and the re-financing have all been captured on camera by the Travel Channel which has scheduled a special on Henry and the project for July 1.
“We still have some surprises in store,” Henry said. “But we are back on track and back to work. When we are finished this is going to be a great park.”

The Art of Negotiating

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Whether you’re trying to get the best price at the flea market, ask for a higher salary, or buy a new car, having good negotiating skills is important. Luckily, during a real estate transaction, you have a hired professional to do the tough stuff for you! Whether you are buying or selling, your agent should be representing your needs and wants through this fine art of negotiating.

Some may believe that negotiations are “all or nothing.” That one party wins over the other. This could not be further from the truth. While the goal of negotiation is most certainly getting what you want, the fact is that the best deals incorporate terms from both sides.

First, think about what you want to achieve from the process. Make a list of what you want from the negotiation and why. This helps determine what would cause you to walk away so you can build your strategy within acceptable terms. Try, also, to understand what your counterpart’s motivations are as this is equally as important. By studying the other side’s goals, it may help you frame your own by realizing that there’s a solution for you both. The single most important tool you and your agent have is preparedness. Communicating with each other the main goals and why they’re the goals gives your agent the best negotiating power there is. Follow these steps:

1.      Establish a fair sales price. Your agent should run a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you to assess what a fair asking price is based on other sales in the area.

2.      Establish what you can afford. If you’re buying, your agent should be able to help you with this a bit, and if you’re working with a lender they will be invaluable here. If you’re selling, what is your bottom line?

3.      Decide what other things would be a deal breaker. Price is typically the most important factor. However, it may also be a deal breaker if you’re selling and you cannot afford to pay the buyer’s closing costs at their request, or you’re the buyer and your insurance requires a windstorm certificate that the home doesn’t have.

4.      As a buyer, when it comes to inspections, negotiating repairs can become just as important as presenting the offer itself. If the home you’re seeking isn’t advertised as being sold “As Is” then you likely have some negotiating powers when it comes to repairs.

5.      Try not to get emotional. This is a tough one as a home is personal. And if you get too emotional, you may make an exception to your goals. But your agent is there to represent you, your goals and to make it about business so this doesn’t happen.

From there, your licensed Real Estate Agent should be able to clearly communicate your desires.  It’s your agent’s job to ensure you are represented correctly, fairly, and your voice is heard! It’s all about collaborating to meet both ends, making it a “win/win” situation.

What should you look for in an agent? These characteristics may be beneficial: An active listener, someone with a reputation of getting along with others, someone with a mild-mannered and optimistic personality, and a clear but firm communicator.

So sit back, and let US work for YOU. If you’re feeling like your agent is trying too hard to convince you to forgo your main goals, then perhaps it’s not the right fit. There’s a solution to every problem. Think outside the box, discuss rather than argue, and don’t forget, it never hurts to ASK!

Corpus Christi City Council Votes Unanimously for 7 Month Extension to Schlitterbahn Upper Padre

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KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Jeff Henry, Schlitterbahn Owner

City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to grant a six-month extension to Schlitterbahn, allowing them to continue to qualify for millions of dollars in tax rebates.  The extension to Sept. 30 means some $117 million in rebates will go back to developers as long as the park is finished by that time. At last word, developers hope to open the park by summer, after a year of delays due to an unplanned expansion of the facility on their 550-acre plot of land on Padre Island plus Partnership challenges they are set to move forward!

Coastline Properties knows that great things come to those that are patient, things don’t always go as planned and masterpieces take time.  We can’t wait to see you all poolside this summer.  Have a beautiful Week!

~ The Team at Coastline Properties!

Latest on Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi

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Schlitterbahn will look to get their extension for the tax incentive package by Tuesday 2/3 evening, but things look very good for an Opening in May just as summer starts to roll in. We are still so excited to see it in full operation!

Schlitterbahn Upper Padre News 2015

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Happy New Year Padre Islanders!!  We are excited about 2015 at Coastline Properties and what’s in store for our little piece of paradise.   We read an article you will see printed “below” from Kris TV yesterday and felt it necessary to get you up to speed on what has been happening with the Schlitterbahn project.  What I can and will tell you is that the headline is incredibly misleading and we do find it troubling that this is the 2nd media outlet in the past 60 days that has tried to negatively spin this project, and the funny thing is they are making themselves look like ridiculous in the process.  Yes it is true things have not gone smoothly on this project but if you know anything about land development and real estate with 100 million dollar+ projects with multiple partners involved, there are always going to be bumps in the road.  As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”  This project is not a race, its more like a marathon.  When Schlitterbahn fully opens there doors people will have long forgotten about this lull in time.   I find it often troubling how media outlets intentionally create headlines to prey on the human emotion of fear, just to generate an audience so they can continue to sell their advertisers on inflated viewership data by creating fear based content to draw in unsuspecting people.

In Contrast I have also taken the liberty to post a second article from of our Most Informed Padre Island Journalist “Dale Rankin, Owner of the Island Moon”  This article was printed just a few weeks ago that has a much more detailed and accurate depiction of the speed bumps in schlitterville project.  The first thing you will notice is a headline that is neutral, and his article clearly spells out many details to help people understand what’s happening.  The reason that Dale Rankin is so well liked on our Island is because he always does his best to keep us all informed with a non biased point of view, and if he does insert his personal point of view he does let us know the difference between it and the actual facts of the content.  Thanks Dale for your tireless work in bringing us the Island News every week! ~Coastline Properties

Before You Read the Articles Below WATCH THIS VIDEO to see the Progress so far!

KRIS TV ARTICLE – Jan 6, 2015

“Schlitterbahn in Financial Trouble”

CORPUS CHRISTI – KRIS 6 News has learned that Schlitterbahn is in financial trouble.

The official opening of the park on Padre Island has already been delayed, and now, the company owes over half a million dollars to multiple vendors who’ve worked on the upcoming water park.

At least six different vendors have filed liens against the company for more than $137,000, and one contractor, Texas Descon, has filed a lawsuit against the company and its owners, saying that it’s owed nearly $700,000.

We spoke to partial owner Jeff Henry on the phone today. He told us this problem started when the scope of the project doubled in size.

When that happened, the money ran out, and when the money ran out, he and the other owners debated for months over how to proceed with additional funding.

The delay led to vendors not getting paid, but now, Henry says they’ve solved the funding issue, and says all of the vendors should get paid within ten days.

“We’re trying very hard to get a positive spin back on this project, to get it moving and get it finished, so we can open it and kids can start having fun, and the older kids can start having jobs. We’re just sorry that we had these problems and we’ll try not to ever have them again,” Henry says.

Henry says the increase in project size does mean there’ll be two to three times more jobs available once construction is complete.

The company plans to officially open the park this summer

Island Moon Article – Dale Rankin

What’s Going on at Schlitterbahn – Dec. 24th, 2014

As I have made the rounds of Island holiday parties this Christmas season the most common question I have heard is what you see printed above:

“What’s going on at Schlitterbahn? I have refrained from writing about it because I have been awaiting the resolution of events going on behind the scenes that I know will sooner or later gel straightened out and my intent was to wait until that happens to say anything. But as time has gone by the stories have gotten wilder and wilder. “I hear they have gone broke and are going to declare bankruptcy.” Or, “I hear the financing fell through.” Or the best one “I heard the city has condemned the building and it is going to have to be tom down.” It was that last one that made me decide that waiting any longer was not a good idea. So let me begin by addressing those three questions/assertions; No, No, and No.

Here ’s what’s happening

Here is what I have learned by talking to the people involved in the deal. I will leave them nameless here because they have not consented to be quoted. but the information is first hand. Here’s what I know. The project has not gone broke and financing did not “fall through.” What has happened is that the project has grown by almost twice since construction began and that requires more money. How to handle that has caused stress among the partners and they are in the process of reorganizing themselves. Some of the partners may opt to be bought out by other partners, or they may not. It is unknown at this point which partners will stay in and which may opt out.

But what is known is that the partners, if they so choose, can write a check to finish the project. lt’s pretty hard to “go bankrupt” under those conditions. It will get worked out in due course. So far about $49 million has been spent on the project and from what I’m told it is believed it will cost around $69 million to finish. The language in the tax incentives from the city – primarily Sales Tax and Hotel Occupancy Tax which are in the neighborhood of $122 million and which are a crucial part of the park’s business model – requires that the exterior of the building and the park be “done” by next March. In that vein you may have noticed work has resumed on the rides at the south end of the park and also on the exterior of the building. More workers have been added of late and more, l’m told, will be added after the first of the year. So far the City of Corpus Christi has declined to release about $3 million money from the Type A Board requiring that the building’s exterior be finished first even though that was originally part of Phase ll of the project, to avoid a political backlash for releasing public money for a project with an unfinished building. It’s a glitch not a deal killer and it too will be resolved in due course.

I am in communication with the people involved in the project and they assure me they will inform me when the current questions are resolved. I would point out that this is a privately- funded project – with no public money in it yet – and the developers are not required to release anything to the public even when it is. That has been part of my reluctance to write about the mid-course adjustments going on now. But as we all know the Coconut Telegraph on The Island is quick to report and is almost always wrong. So in the absence of good information bad information has filled the vacuum. Rest assured that if the project ever looks like it is in trouble I will be the first to say so; it is not. I know that the folks who read the legal filings have found a lawsuit from a contractor who claims he is owed about $660,000. There is a dispute there but it has nothing to do with the park’s developers not being able to pay. It too will be resolved in course. Which leads to the final rumor making the rounds — that the building has been condemned and must be tom down. I have to admit that one is pretty creative. Stupid yes. but creative. I have been inside the building many times and can tell you that when people see it they will be impressed. It is finished throughout with wood taken from the trees that burned in the fire in Bastrop a few years ago and it is a beautiful building. If they start tearing it down l‘ll let you know.

Everybody take a deep breath

So just let me say this. Everybody just take a deep breath. Don’t believe any crazy rumors. I can’t tell you exactly when the last bit of work will be finished there; projects this big take a while to get completely done and are complex by nature, some bumps in the road are to be expected. ‘There is still a lot of concrete to he poured but there is time and money to do it and it will get done. Expect the park to be open by Spring Break 2015 and for some work to continue on through the summer season while the park is open. The people behind this project know what they are doing and it will get done.

One ugly fence

Now, as for that fence along the Aquarius Extension: I have to agree with you that is one ugly fence. But I would just point out that the same people who are calling to complain about the ugly fence are the same ones who called to complain about the “junkyard” they saw before the fence went up. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. This too will be fixed in due course. If having to look at an ugly fence is the worst thing that happens to you today you should thank your lucky stars. Once the park opens all of this will he forgotten.

ISLAND MOON ON FACEBOOK>>

8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

endofyearrealtorSummer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.

Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.

The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:

1. Tax savings

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Motivated sellers

Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.

3. Builder incentives

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.

4. Available movers

Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. Paying toward something you own

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.

6. Consistent payments

Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.

7. Freedom to renovate

Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures orreplace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gaining equity

In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.

via Realtor.com

WHY USE A LOCAL PADRE ISLAND REALTOR?

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WHY USE A LOCAL REALTOR?

This question probably prods every seller at one point or another…it’s your property, aren’t you the best suited to sell it? Perhaps. Then again, let me explain why maybe not. As a buyer, it’s just as critical to use a local Realtor. It comes down to the three Ts: Tools, Training, Transaction-Related Matters.

Tools:

Real estate agents have tools, and they don’t come in a box or on a belt. One of these tools is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a system paid for by agents to showcase listings to all other agents. It also allows us to see and search every other property for sale, along with what’s closed, what’s under contract, etc…always in real time. Because the MLS dates back decades, it is trend and individual property history at our fingertips. It gives agents the unique ability to create a comparative market analysis on your property with the knowledge we have from recent closures. As a tight-knit community, we have a network of other agents and a network of title company experts who keep us up-to-date on changes to contracts and changes to the law. We are vested in the community where we live and work, and where you want to live or sell. We are familiar with the local market, building guidelines, and numerous specifications that our seaside area requires.

Training:

OK, it sounds like we’re running a marathon, but seriously, sometimes a real estate transaction feels like one! Real Estate Agents went to a school focused specifically on real estate and can help you navigate the (sometimes rough) terrain. Both a national and a state required exam must be passed to become licensed. Pricing, contract paperwork, real estate finance and law, these are all areas we’re proficient in and experts at. Likewise, we’re required to continue our education with a certain number of hours each year to ensure we stay informed and updated on the ever-changing regulations occurring in this industry. Also, not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the National Association of Realtors are properly called REALTORS and can proudly display that trademark on marketing and sales literature.

Transaction-Related Matters:

This comes down to the meat and potatoes of it all, concerning the contract itself, to the negotiations, to possible repair work, to closing details, and every possible scenario in between. It also heavily involves our Code of Ethics – for over 100 years, this code ensures agents treat their clients professionally and ethically. These ethics are strictly enforced, and you know you will be working with a true professional who focuses on your needs and wants. Your agent is accountable for fulfilling their full “fiduciary responsibilities” to you (has your best interest in mind from finances to full disclosure to confidentiality).  Realtors are committed to treat all parties in a transaction honestly. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor again.

The best agent I know once told me, “You’ve done your job if you’ve made it look easy.” So I invite you to relax…have a lemonade…allow us to make the process appear as seamless as possible.

Rapidly Diminishing REO Foreclosure Sales

The number of foreclosed home sales has been rapidly falling and could essentially vanish by next year. Those who specialize in foreclosure sales should therefore look towards other line of business.

  • In August, foreclosed sales comprised only 6 percent of all home sales transactions, down from double-digit figures last year and from near 30 percent few years further back.
    In addition to fewer distressed properties on the market currently, there is very little in the pipeline. The number of foreclosure starts is essentially back-to-normal with only 0.4 percent of mortgages undergoing that process. Moreover, mortgages originated in the past four years are one of the best performing with very little defaults.
  • We should nonetheless be mindful that the overall count of seriously delinquent mortgages and those homes in some stage of foreclosure process are still above historical normal because some states have been very slow to process the required paper work. For example, some homeowners who have not been paying mortgages for 2 or 3 years are still living in the home in Florida and New Jersey. But the broad figure on seriously delinquent borrowers has been sliced in half over the past three years.
    The bottom line there is that foreclosed sales could be in the 1 to 3 percent next year – essentially back the normal market conditions. Fewer distressed properties will also help with the overall appraisal process of not using bad comparable.
  • REALTOR business tip. From time-to-time there will be a homebuyer who takes a very long time to decide. After viewing 30 homes, they will ask for few more, and on and on. One way to help on the decision, according to psychology studies on human behavior, is to provide extreme alternatives that the consumer will certainly not buy. For example, showing a home that is outside of the buyer’s price criteria or a foreclosed home can help speed the decision. Since foreclosed homes are on the decline, one has to use other alternative extreme comparisons.
  • A similar decision process applies in politics. Research shows undecided voters wanting to gravitate towards the middle for no other reason than not wanting to be extreme. Therefore a portrayal of political opponent as an extremist will help get votes for your candidate. That is why negative political advertisements, though nasty and unpleasant to view, is said to work in helping undecided voters make up their mind.

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Source:  National Association of Realtors

Next Stop for Median Home Prices $200,000

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CORPUS CHRISTI – The cost of an average home in Corpus Christi will exceed $200,000 before the end of the year, economic and housing industry experts say.

The average single-family home in the city fetched $199,300 in July, according to the most updated figures provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

Jim Lee doesn’t expect the price tag to stay there.

In fact, it’ll likely inch further up before Christmas, he said.

“We’ve been seeing appreciation for months, but ($200,000) is a benchmark we’re going to hit soon,” said Lee, the chief economist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “This is a head up for next year’s tax bill. It’s going to go up.”

He credited the upswing to a fierce surge in demand for homes, which he attributed to growth from the Eagle Ford Shale energy play.

The average price for a home in Corpus Christi spiked to a record $202,700 in May, but dropped to $197,000 the next month, according to the most updated figures provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. It was at $199,300 in July. Lee said prices could climb as much as 10 percent by the end of the year. And that likely will mean property taxes also will increase.

“As (home) prices go up, so too do the taxes,” Lee said. “Another 10 percent … will be a burden on homeowners. They need to be ready for it.”

In an interview Wednesday with the Caller-Times, Lee described today’s housing landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the 2004-05 home-buying market, which ended in a downturn. The difference then was the Corpus Christi housing market more closely followed the national housing trend, and was not being guided by a fertile-and-booming oil market.

Scores more residents have descended on Corpus Christi in the past two years, lured by the prospect of energy-related jobs and a cost-of-living cheaper than anything in the metropolitan areas. Economists believe as many as 10,000 jobs will spring from it during the next five to seven years.

Statewide, 81,000 single-family homes were sold in Texas in the second quarter of 2014, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, issued by the Texas Association of Realtors. That represents a 1.1 percent increase from the same quarter of 2013.

A total of 2,728 homes in Corpus Christi were sold between January and July, according to the Real Estate Center, which estimated average home prices would hit $194,100 this year.

Homes also are staying on the market half the time they did three years ago. Corpus Christi’s home inventory in July was such that a home will remain on the market for 4.8 months, compared with 10 months in July 2011.

Warren Andrich, president/CEO of the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors, expected more people to take advantage of first-time homebuyers assistance programs in the coming year, even for homes below $200,000. Andrich said the market may be advantageous to homeowners looking to upgrade, but may also present greater challenges for lower- and middle-income homebuyers, who are finding it increasingly hard to purchase.

There are 1,800 to 1,900 houses available in the city, compared with 7,300 homes on the market three years ago. Homes that are considered affordable — because they are listed for a selling price between $125,000 and $160,000 — are scarce in Corpus Christi; there are roughly 200 of them available.

Lee said homeowners had to do a lot of soul searching during the 2004-05 housing downturn. At issue was whether to dump their homes ahead of what would become a major national housing crisis and a global economic recession.

His advice for those tempted to sell while the price tag climbs?

“It’s definitely a seller’s market. Definitely,” Lee said. “But if you sell, where are you going to go? No one knows how long the oil boom will last.”

via Caller Times

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