With 2019 being such a strong year for real estate sales in the greater Houston area, we didn’t know how 2020 would start off, but boy has it done well. Pricing was up for both average and median prices, and the number of homes sold increased in all pricing categories at $150,000 and above. Our lease activity also showed tremendous strength. If we keep this up, we will be reporting another record year come January 2021. I won’t get too far ahead of myself though. To read all about the most recent market statistics, you may read here.

The thing that continually amazes me as just a member of HAR is the pace that new tools and services are rolled out to help all of us. Read here as a case in point. The new Home Selling Analysis has been deployed as a way to generate new seller leads. A consumer fills out a contact form on HAR.com and has an automated report sent to them. The “Ready to Sell Your Current Home?” badge has already been added to your listings and profile page. It’s just another way HAR tried to show its value every day.1

While California and Florida dominate the list of the top 20 U.S. markets for international traffic on Realtor.com, Houston comes in at number eight on the list. Of those people, Canada, Vietnam and Mexico are the countries from which people are most frequently visiting the site. Read all about the stats here. Oh, and Dallas is ranked 20th on the list.

When you ask many HAR members what makes the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent, the most common response is the Code of Ethics. Well, there is a new requirement that extends the training cycle from two years to three years. You can look up your ethics training status by following the instructions here. Note that this is an NAR change and does not change TREC requirements.

Anyone who has participated in the Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program will tell you that it is one of the best experiences they have had. Many of the members of our board of directors have gone through the program, which is an eight-month schedule of courses that will help you learn more to be a better member of the community and better businessperson. You may find out more about the program here. Apply today because the deadline is March 20, 2020, and it is always a difficult time selecting who makes it each year.

One of the most important things that will happen to you in March will be when you receive your census survey. Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau sends out the survey to all residents. The results of the survey are used to allocate funding for where schools, hospitals, highways and more will be built. I read that each person counted equates to about $1,500 that comes back to their community. Plus, we may be able to finally overtake Chicago as the third largest city in the U.S. You may read more about the importance of the census here.

Until next month,
John Nugent
HAR Chairman