Report shows Victoria has home shortage during first quarter

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

May 1, 2014 at 12:01 a.m.
Updated May 2, 2014 at 12:02 a.m.

Victoria's housing market has become a seller's market.

According to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, a joint report between the Texas Association of Realtors and the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Victoria is experiencing a shortage in homes on the market and a rise in prices.

A constrained inventory, lending practices and weather have each played a role in the market, but the lack of inventory is the largest influence in the market, said Stacy Armijo, spokeswoman for the Texas Association of Realtors.

"It's supply and demand, of course," she said. "We're seeing prices start to rise pretty significantly."

Alfred Kopecky, a Realtor with RE/MAX, said Victoria's growth has a lot do with the shortage in single-family homes.

"Victoria is booming," he said. "That's largely in part by the oil-field services, major plants and pipeline expansion."

It's been difficult for prospective homebuyers to find homes because the demand is so high, he said. Those who can afford to buy have to act quickly in this kind of market because so many other people are looking for homes at the same time.

"The prices are at the highest they have been for square foot than ever," he said. "There are so many people looking right now that reasonable prices are being paid, so it'd probably be a good time to sell."

The reported median price at the end of the first quarter in 2013 was $138,100 and has since jumped to $150,000 this year, which Armijo described as a big jump.

However, it's not something Texas hasn't experienced in the past, she said. Texas has become one of the top states for relocation because of growing industries and the rise in jobs. These are positive drivers of the housing market and reflect a good market, she said.

"It's just a matter of not having the inventory to keep up with the demand," Armijo said.

Though Victoria's 3.3 months of inventory is on par with the state, it demonstrates how little single-family housing is available for buyers. It's a calculation the Texas Association of Realtors uses to determine the monthly inventory in a market, Armijo said.

In a balanced market, she said, the monthly inventory should sit at 6.5 months, which means that if all the homes on the market were sold, it would take 6.5 months to sell them.

"It shows there are very few homes to choose from in any price range," Kopecky said. "With more people moving in, it means they are just going to move even faster from available to sold."

The possibility of adding homes could alleviate the inventory problem, she said, but it would depend on the prices of those homes to see whether it would change the median prices in Victoria's market.

Kopecky believes the prices wouldn't immediately change as a result of the high demand.

"It would probably affect it very slowly, and because of all the demand, it would probably be absorbed," he said.

If someone is looking at buying a first home, she said it would be important to prepare for a competitive market this coming season.

Summer is often a prime time for families to move or relocate, Kopecky said, because the kids are out of school. It's easier for families to plan moves during breaks, so they can start school later or dedicate vacation time to packing or unpacking a home, he said.

"It's an exciting time," Kopecky said. "There is a lot going on."



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