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Local Intel: Housing news across U.S. communities

Houston, Texas; West Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; Vail Valley, Colorado; Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Local intel

Houston, Texas (Katy)

“Even through the pandemic, home sales have been at record levels here,” said Andi Bolin, the Texas state manager for Knight Barry Title, which just opened its office over the summer. As a new player in the Houston real estate market, Bolin added that she’s proud of how her team has handled the volume of orders on top of everything that normally goes into establishing an operation in a new area. “Like many regions of the country, there are lingering inventory concerns in our area, which may slow down our hot pace sooner than later,” Bolin said. “However, with interest rates still so low, the desire to buy – or refinance – will still be burning, so we expect to remain very busy during our first year of business. This year has already been full of so many surprises, I’d hate to predict the specifics of what is coming next, but we are expecting big things to continue.”

West Virginia

Commenting on what he’s witnessing in West Virginia, along with a handful of other eastern states, Bob Drummond, West Virginia Bankers Title vice president and agency manager, said, “On the ground, we hear homes are sold as soon as they hit the market. Especially in West Virginia, prospective homebuyers have gained the most purchasing power they’ve seen in years.” Drummond added that a new analysis found some of the states where they operate, including West Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky, are seeing their highest level of affordability in 25 years. “Our real estate market in the multi-state region we serve showed remarkable resiliency during the spring and was booming into the summer,” he said. “As rates hit record lows, we expect activity to remain strong, and we’re prepared to offer innovative, technology-driven solutions.”

Nashville, Tennessee

“The pandemic has certainly changed the way real estate business gets done in and around Nashville, but as people adjusted to the new normal, the market returned to historic highs,” Homeland Title Owner Laura Perry said. July home sales were up 12% compared to July of last year, according to Nashville’s local Realtors association, and Perry said that they’re prepared for that pace to continue as more people than ever before consider moving to the area. “Just like our region is growing, Homeland Title had growth plans of its own in 2020, and even with the challenges of this year, we expect a busy fall,” Perry said.

Vail Valley, Colorado

After seeing significant drops in April and May, the luxury market has rebounded in places that are usually popular for second homes. Sara Roberts, vice president of marketing at Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate in Vail Valley, Colorado, said, “Summertime is usually our busiest season, but this is different. Because we’re a seasonal resort we usually have a busy summer season and we’ll pull back in the fall and then of course pick up again in the ski season.” However, she explained that dip hasn’t happened this year, and instead, they’re getting busier. One other trend Roberts said she was seeing was second homes becoming the new primary home, and even buyers moving up from smaller vacation homes.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Latham Jenkins, an associate broker at Live Water Jackson Hole, said that “COVID-19 refugees” began flocking to this vacation town earlier this year. Jenkins said not only is the Jackson Hole purchase market flourishing, but its rental market is also off the charts. “Single-family homes with a little bit of acreage around them [are in demand],” Jenkins said. “We have seen in the $3 million plus segment, really a record-breaking pace over the last two months of pending listings.” As more people are working from home, Jenkins said that more people are retreating to bigger and more relaxed lifestyles, which is what Jackson Hole has to offer. This also leads to more bidding wars.

To submit a story on your market for consideration for upcoming magazines, click here.

This was taken from the October/November issue of HousingWire Magazine. To read the full issue, click here.

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