Dear Market Statistics - How You Can Screw Things Up

Real Estate Agent with

How's the market in The Woodlands?The Houston Chronicle earlier this past week released an article talking about the Real Estate Market in this HUGE City.  It was actually a really great OVERVIEW of what is going on. However, the accuracy of Market Reports can only go so far.

  • Home Sales dropped 16%
  • MEDIAN Prices dropped 4%
  • Only 4,355 Single Family homes were sold last month
  • Home Sales have dropped for the 19th Consecutive Month

Oh my.  The sky is falling.  Run for the hills! 

Ok, so not really.  The Houston MLS consists of 60 Areas that are broken down in to 152 Locations.  For example, The Woodlands is in Area 15 (Southwest Montgomery County) and Location 107 (The Woodlands) which is The Woodlands Proper and the Communities directly surrounding.

So, the Statistics above are for the 152 Locations that include the far reaching Counties that make up the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area.  Many, many, square miles of area. Countless.

The other problem with Market Statistics is that they typically look at PAST numbers.  Obviously the Crystal Ball can not forsee the future.  It's kind of like when all of the Economists were saying that we were going to be in a Recession - When in all actuality we were already in a Recession.  We just couldn't see it until the Statistics came out 6 months later.

As Professionals in the Real Estate Industry though, we feel it.  We can feel the market most of the time.  We can feel the changes before they are a statistic.

The past 2 weeks I have felt the inventory Dropping.  Not as many homes to show, serious lack of homes available in certain price ranges/sizes.  All of these up here on the North Side of Town.  Areas 13,14,15 - for the most part.  Cypresswood to just North of The Woodlands and Stuebner Airline East to 1960 and Cypresswood.

I have seen multiple offers, back up contracts and the fear in Buyers that they will 'lose out' on the 3 or 4 homes that they like best and an urgency to submit offers ASAP.

While looking at the overall Statistics for a Huge City we may think that we can get a 'good deal' because there is SO much inventory when in all actuality - It depends on the Area within the City.

Up here in Location 107 (The Woodlands) Here is a little of what we are seeing. As of today there were 939 Active Listings on the market.


  • 10 Active Listings
  • 12 Pending
  • 6 Sold since April 1st

(Right at about 1% of all of the listings in the area are Foreclosures.  Sold in all Houston MLS last month was 25%)

Short Sales-

  • 4 Active
  • 1 Pending
  • 0 Sold since April 1st

As of March 31st -

  • 1,169 Active Listings
  • Today 939 Listings (end of April 2008 1,210)
  • 197 Pending
  • As of today 262 Pending (end of April 2008 246)

It is just really interesting to watch the Statistics change right before our eyes - But to be Accurate, we should wait to see what they look like in a few weeks.  Is it all seasonal?  It could be.  But it sure looks like maybe the Market is headed towards a Better place up here on the North side.

Wanting to sell your home?  Now may be the perfect time to do that before everyone else figures out what is going on.  As it sits right now, I have 8 buyers that need homes...and nothing available for what they are looking for.

To look at Market Statistics compiled just about 10 days ago, check out my Spring/Woodlands Market Reports on Flickr.


Comments (9)

Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


I did a blog earlier in the year. I had links to all of the local newspaper articles, from the year before, telling us that the sky was falling, might as well burn your house. Anyway, first story of the new year was that, actually, prices stayed almost exactly even reference to all the wrong information the previous 12 months. Why dwell on old excrement.

Apr 25, 2009 04:05 AM
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

This is an interesting post and goes to the heart of "overall" media reports (never totally right).   And, of course, media are always a good 90 to 120 days "out", as they do have to report the past.   I think by the end of May, we'll see quite a different focus in the media reporting, even in the "broad brush" remarks.   As realtors, we've all seen this uptick in buyer action, much earlier.  

Apr 25, 2009 04:05 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Hi Scott,'s really interesting to see this as it happens.  Amazing how the market is going down here...

Hi Steven,  but it is really hard to tell.  Some areas really have done extremely poorly.

Hi Sea To Sky,  I'm not bashing the article because it was a great overview of the City.  But with such a large City stats just really need to be more specific than City - It needs to get down to Community.  Actually, the write of the article is one of my favorites to read because she puts in all sides of the story for the most part.

Apr 25, 2009 04:12 AM
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Stephanie... This is really a GREAT snapshot of your VERY LOCAL market.  As REALTORS, we spend a lot of time educating the public that there is no "national" real estate market, just like there is no national weather forecast, but we sometimes fail to do a good job of pointing out just how LOCAL, on a micro level, our markets really are!  Kudos!

Apr 25, 2009 04:31 AM
Norma Brandsberg
Marks Realty Co. Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 540-586-9496 - Forest, VA

I used what I saw here in the  Real Estate market to pull out of stock market early. Boy am I glad I did. We sometimes have a better feel for where the market is going than the experts. We are on the front line.

Apr 25, 2009 05:06 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

You did a great job on this, Stephanie. You laid it out in terms that are easy for the lay-person to understand, included a graph for the people need that type of visual aid, provided great examples, and made it easy to understand. This should be featured!

Apr 25, 2009 11:31 AM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Stephanie, great job reading these stats and TRANSLATING them! It is so wild how facts and figures can be misconstrued and misunderstood!

Apr 27, 2009 08:27 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Sephanie, This should cause readers to go, "Ah Ha"... and call you.  Great job of doing your homework for your clients and customers.

May 11, 2009 05:17 AM
Daren Krause
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX

We can feel the changes before they are a statistic.

And this is the exact reason why you blog.  The daily news doesn't cannot parse the nuances of the residential sales environment.  They've got a cleaver to your scalpel.

Creating vital distinctions within a statistical report and combining that expertise with your anecdotal experience (personal and shared) means you've got your ear to the proverbial grindstone.

YOU are the authority and expert in your local real estate environment.  NOT the newspaper.  Believe that and act accordingly.  Do what you can to educate the local news reporter; comment on the article and encourage readers to visit your blog.  At that stage it's less about self-promotion than it is education.

Good post.  I've learned something valuable.

May 14, 2009 06:03 PM