Hurricane Harvey was an equal-opportunity flooder. Rich and poor folk alike felt the devastating effects. Further, Residential real estate is “hyper-local”: some things that affect value, such as the completion of the 99 Freeway, impact entire areas, but other factors, not so much.
“Hyper-local” for The Woodlands can be summed up in two words: Spring Creek. Spring Creek.
The 1970’s plan of the late George Mitchell started in Montgomery Country. In the early 2000’s, the then new developer moved across the Spring Creek into Harris County, dubbing the new area The Woodlands Village of Creekside Park.
Since the 1990’s, I’ve been blogging and keeping statistics on The Woodlands and also Houston. I’ve always asserted that The Woodlands is the one of the last neighborhoods to trend downward in tough times and the first to pick back up when things turn around. This paradigm still holds true. But hold on a minute!
While The Woodlands market is a bit flat overall, those Woodlands residents in Harris County-Creekside, which had highly publicized flooded neighborhoods during and immediately after the storm, are still suffering from Harvey-Hangover.
So, in response to a National Association of Realtors article last week which cited poor December 2018 sales nation-wide, I did a rather in-depth study of The Woodlands for the same time period.
Rather than make your eyes glaze over with the backline statistics, here is a summary:
a. Compared to December 2016, before Harvey, December 2017 sales in The Woodlands Montgomery Country were up a whopping 37%. By December 2018, sales were back to a normal more level. Note: this is a part of The Woodlands where what little flooding occurred was virtually ignored by the press.
b. The exact time frames for The Woodlands Harris County-Creekside saw sales fall 26%. By December 2018, re-sales were back to normal, though new home sales have taken off dramatically. Said another way: The Woodlands Creekside residents are enjoying their location again, but the basis for future value appreciation has changed dramatically.
c. Prices on BOTH sides of the creek have NOT improved dramatically, and more specifically, the ANNUAL RATE of value appreciation has slowed noticeably. Year over year, Prices improved only in Montgomery Country only 2.7%; usually this is 4-6%. In The Woodlands sections of Harris County, 2018 appreciation was only 1.9%.
The bottom line:
1. values in Creekside Park will not pick up dramatically this year, until the widening Gosling Road is completely done. Infrastructure is underway at a dramatic pace at Kuykendahl and 99, but I see the result of that being nominal in value-affect for Creekside homeowners, as opposed to the dramatic increase in value to when, say, the Lake Woodlands – Northshore Park bridge was completed, giving direct access to The Woodand’s Town Center for thousands of families.
2. The new movie theatre and other upscale amenities are needed. Hurry!
3. Once all the roads and infrastructure are in place, values will set a firm bottom and start to rise.
4. ALL of this is pending the hard truth: just pray Spring Creek doesn’t flood again.