Fall home sales soar through the roof despite ongoing pandemic

Buyers prioritizing more space, home office, swimming pool

Fall home sales soar through the roof despite ongoing pandemic
Fall home sales soar through the roof despite ongoing pandemic

SAN ANTONIO – After casually house hunting for months, Sally Garrett decided it was time to get off the fence and into a new home.

“I put that on hold all summer, and now I’m more actively with it,” she said.

The numbers show a lot of people got with it. At a time when home buying typically tapers off, San Antonio’s fall sales are through the roof.

October sales were 20% higher than the same time last year, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR). That follows a hot September when sales were up 32% over the previous year. For the two months combined, more than 7,000 existing homes sold.

“It’s been incredible,” said Guy Rubio, a realtor with the Ortiz Firm.

Not only are people continuing to move into the area, but residents are moving to suit new needs. After months of stay-at-home togetherness, Rubio said people’s priorities have changed.

“They want land and certainly bigger homes,” he said. “And when they thought they had a big home, they want a bigger home as well as pools like never before.”

Backyards have taken on more importance, too, as many families have foregone vacations and activities. And while kitchens still sell houses, realtors say people also want space for a home office.

Helping to spur sales are historically low-interest rates. The average for a 30-year fixed conventional loan is hovering around 2.84%.

That enticed Garrett to buy.

“I’ve never seen them lower in my lifetime, my shopping lifetime,” she said.

Inventory remains very tight, driving prices up about 11% over last year. The median price of an October sale was $261,200.

More than 3,000 sales are pending for November as it appears buyers will continue to gobble them up.

About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.