Local News

Jul 1, 2014 6:30 PM by Janine Reyes

Housing Shortage Driving Price Surge

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Finding a new home or apartment in the Coastal Bend won't be easy right now. Supply is down and demand is up. That means housing prices are on the rise.

Many in the housing industry are watching closely, wondering when the Corpus Christi housing bubble might burst, sending prices back down.

With a shortage of land in town, realtor Gene Guernsey says nothing stays on the market long.

Land sales are spurring construction, on the South Side and in Flour Bluff especially, keeping crews busy and giving them the opportunity to charge more for their work at construction sites. So, just what does that mean for you?

"That's always passed on to the consumer and the consumer's paying a higher value," Guernsey explained.

In fact, last year residential sales and new building permits added up to one thing: profit.

"We had in excess of a billion dollar year last year in residential real estate sales, which I venture to say is the best year ever," said Guernsey said.

But, its not just home sales that are having the best year ever, at Encore Crossing, just off Holly near Airline, units are staying so full that developers are trying to quickly build even more across the street.

Those units will be ready starting this Fall. Rent right now is at an all time high, its about $1,300 for a 2 bedroom, even so, what goes up must come back down. Guernsey says its only a matter of time until the rental prices drop as well.

"After they build enough apartments and they build enough houses, it will level off and then eventually it will falter off, because they'll overbuild," Guernsey said. "Is that 6 months or 9 months or is that 3 years from now," Guernsey asked. "We just don't know," he added.

There are about eight apartment complexes under construction across the city. New home sites are going up quickly, too.

Guersney says even though it is a seller's market right now, if you plan to stay more than a few years, it is best to buy because values are going up.

He's selling a home on the Island right now that he's sold twice before, first in 2000 for about $185,000, then it sold for about $290,000 in 2004. Today, it's listed for $365,000.

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