Looking to buy a house in southeast Texas? Good luck.

A lack of inventory on the market and increasing demand continue to fuel record home prices in greater Houston. 

The Houston Association of Realtors reported a 24.4% jump in single-family sales last month, compared to the same time in 2020. One report even suggested investors, many of them new to town, scooped up almost a quarter of those homes.

Tim Surratt holds decades’ worth of experience in the industry. He said, within the last year, he’s seen more clients trade in smaller spaces for bigger places. He said it’s, without question, a seller’s market.

“Last year was the best year we’ve ever had in the Houston real estate market ever in every respect,” Surratt said. “We’re dealing with a lot of relocation buyers from New York. Anywhere in the Northeast where they’re priced out of the market or they haven’t been satisfied with their quality of life there. Of course, California — It’s a huge exodus to Texas. Austin cannot accommodate them all. They’re going to Houston and Dallas and surrounding counties.”

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Tiffany LaRose helped clients land dreams-come-true as a real estate agent. She spoke candidly about her experiences over the last 5 years. She said it’s clear. Be ready to go all-in if you’re looking for a new home.

“The real estate market is absolutely on fire,” LaRose said. “We’re seeing things we’ve never seen before, multiple offers within an hour or two of properties being listed. People are waiving their rights to appraisals. They’re going 30, 40, $50,000 over asking price and still losing out on those houses. It’s really competitive out there. It’s cut-throat.”