“I’ve never seen a market like this,” Lubbock realtor says as home prices soar

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As Lubbock finishes its peak home-buying season, local houses sold for 34 percent more than in the same period five years ago.

The average selling price for Lubbock homes in September 2021 was $247,000, more than $70,000 more than the average home price. In September 2016, the average home sold for $184,000.

“I’ve never seen a market like this,” President of the Lubbock Association of Realtors Teresa Smith said. “It’s shifted to a seller’s market, meaning we’re low on inventory and we have more buyers than we have homes to put them in.”

Analysts credit pandemic-related supply-chain issues and lumber price increases for the nationwide housing shortage, as the high cost of construction prevents major increases to the housing supply while demand remains high. This September, there were 712 houses for sale in the Lubbock area, compared to 1,215 five years ago. Consequentially, those houses on the market sold an average of 33 days faster than in 2016.

“It’s something I have not seen since I’ve been doing this the last 25, 26 years,” President-elect of the Lubbock Association of Realtors Rich Eberhardt said. “A house goes on the market and you get 10, 15 offers within 24 or 48 hours. That drives up the price of the house. And homes were selling for 5, 10, 15 thousand over list price. Which is something we haven’t seen historically.”

The hot housing market is not unique to Lubbock. In July, S&P’s nationwide home price index jumped 19.9 percent over July 2020, a larger gain than the market has seen in more than 20 years. But local realtors say this is the first time they have seen the Hub City follow national trends so closely.

“Texas in general is seeing the same effect,” Ms. Smith said. “We’re having our fair share of out-of-state buyers and they are coming from markets where when they sell, they have quite a bit of money in their pockets. So they are able to offer a bit more.”

Eberhardt observed housing prices have stabilized relative to the peak season of March through August, which may create a slightly better environment for prospective buyers. LAR says patience is key.

“Patience is your best friend,” Ms. Smith said. “Don’t just settle for whatever because it seems like the only thing available. Keep saving, keep looking.”

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