Seller’s market? Home sales and prices on the island rose 16 percent in the first six months of the year as all signs point to a shift from a buyer’s to a seller’s market.
Homes are selling faster and staying on the market fewer days, while Realtors report multiple bidders vying for properties only hours after they land on the market.
Galveston saw 368 residential property transactions in the first six months of the year, compared with 317 the same period the year before, according to data from the Galveston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.
West End beach front properties and Jamaica Beach showed strong gains, while seawall-protected neighborhoods saw a slight dip. But the dips could be blamed on less inventory, not less buyer interest, said Realtor Andrea Sunseri of Sand ’N Sea Properties, which compiled the multiple listing service data.
The data represent all island properties in the multiple listing service, not just those listed with Sand ’N Sea Properties. It’s also important to note that the Galveston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service does not include data for all real estate transactions on the island, which means many more transactions occurred this year. Some developers or owners might sell their properties without listing them on the service.
“The economy is excellent, the oil industry is good and we have a lot of people not just coming to the West End for second homes, but buying all over the island,” Sunseri said.
Many buyers are arriving with cash in hand and would rather invest in real estate instead of stashing it in a bank where it’s not earning a lot of interest at current rates, Sunseri said.
Island neighborhoods that saw declines in sales the first six months only did so because fewer houses were on the market. Inventory is lower, Sunseri said.
“We had more homes available last year than this year,” Sunseri said. “We really need the homes.”
One house went on the market during the weekend and immediately had three offers, Sunseri said.
The average time homes spent on the market the first six months this year was 133 days compared with 146 days a year ago.
For all of Galveston, the median selling price — the price in the middle of the sale price range in an area — rose to $229,000 the first six months this year, compared with $218,400 the year before, a 5 percent increase.
Good Sports: Islanders and tourists have more options when it comes to getting around on the water and the shore.
K6 Island Sports has opened in the Jamaica Village Shopping Center, 16708-F San Luis Pass Road in Jamaica Beach, reports John Stahlman of SSASS Real Estate Partners. K6 rents golf carts, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, bicycles, boogie boards and skim boards.
On the Farm: Meanwhile, The Cookie Farm Deli also has opened in Jamaica Village Shopping Center. The deli and bakery offers cookies and sweet treats, along with sandwiches and other fare.
With the arrival of K6 and The Cookie Farm Deli, the Jamaica Village Shopping Center is 100 percent leased. Other tenants include Bluewater Grill, Jamaica Beach Hardware, Economy Liquor, Buck’s West Bar, Kleen Sweep, Soaps Linen Service and West End Gallery and Décor.
Executive office suites include Nearterm, Jeanie Hudson CPA, Esco Pest Control, Egret Bay Builders, Phil Douglas Builders and Galveston Internet.
Shoptalk: La Marque just got a little more stylish. Suzette Welch and Vickie Laymance have opened Sue-Kies, a gifts and accessories shop in Gulfway Plaza, 12005 Delany Road.
The shop carries an array of items, with popular sellers such as crosses, backpacks and purses. Business at the shop, which opened in late June, is picking up nicely, Welch said.
Ramen reschedule: Citing supply delays, the owner of the Jinya Ramen Bar franchise, 18299 Egret Bay Blvd., in Webster, has pushed the eatery’s opening to some time in September. Owner Jim Wang had previously planned an Aug. 11 opening. Ramen varies by region in Japan and in broth, flavors, toppings and noodle texture. Jinya Ramen Bar will serve “tonkotsu ramen,” made of pork broth infused with dashi (stock made from fish and kelp) and dried fish.
Wang also owns the Ichibon Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse at 18206 Egret Bay Blvd. and one at 406 Texas Ave., in Kemah. No word on an exact opening date. Stay tuned.
It’s a date: Look for a 10:30 a.m. Aug. 14 grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the 12,000-square-foot Luby’s/Fuddruckers at Baybrook Shopping Center, on the east side of Interstate 45 between Bay Area Boulevard and Medical Center Boulevard in Webster.
Houston-based Luby’s acquired Fuddruckers in 2010. The company in 2011 experimented with the combo concept at an existing Houston location, but built the first side-by-side eateries last year in Pearland.