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Red hot real estate market is 'the perfect storm'

Demand for housing over the past year paired with a historically low supply has sellers getting top dollar and buyers, in some cases, left on the outside, looking in

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When it comes to the housing market, some have called what we’re experiencing here in the Coastal Bend and across the state, ‘the perfect storm.’ Demand for housing over the past year paired with a historically low supply, has sellers getting top dollar and buyers, in some cases, left standing on the outside, looking in.

No doubt, the real estate market is red hot and has been that way for quite some time. It has produced stories of bidding wars and of buyers having to compete with multiple cash offers above the asking price for an existing home, leaving some first-time home buyers wondering whether there is any room in the market for them.

Of course, trying to build a new home has been a challenge as of late. A slower moving supply chain and higher prices for materials has many people either delaying or scrapping their plans altogether.

But trying to buy an existing house can also be an eye-opening experience, too. In some cases, sellers are getting nearly double the price their home may have commanded just a few years ago.

Elke Gonzalez with the Corpus Christi Association of Realtors tells us, “It’s still a very hot market. Right now, we are seeing the median home price in the Corpus Christi area at about $250,000.”

That’s up more than 8 percent from this time last year. Include all of Nueces County, and the average home price jumps to $265,000.

According to the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, for probably the first time ever, at least half of Texas home sellers this year were able to sell their homes for their starting asking price or more.

It’s all about who wants what you have.

“Now, you don’t necessarily have to go into the office for work, you can remote work,” says Gonzalez, “and so, we are seeing that people want to come to an area where they might be close to the coast and have quick beach access. I think that’s driving the desire to be in this area.”

So, what about first-time home buyers – how do they fare in a real estate market that has been this hot?

Jessi Hall, a Realtor with Bayside Realty Group at KW Coastal Bend, says those buyers may actually have something going in their favor.

“One thing that I haven’t heard much about in the last few years is Down Payment Assistance Programs,” says Hall. “I have lenders who do those. It’s great to see a client come to the closing table and have zero dollars to close, or a much smaller amount compared to standard costs.”

It’s those down payment assistance programs coupled with record-low rates that, in some cases, can give first-time home buyers an advantage. But, as both Hall and Gonzalez caution, your best asset will still be to have an experienced Realtor on your side.