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Katy Housing Market Stays Hot with Bidding Wars and Newcomers from All Over


June 25, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark

Many Katy businesses suffered through the pandemic, but the Katy housing market boomed and continues to stay hot with no sign of letting up. Tales of bidding wars and high offers have become the norm. Local agents share advice on how to navigate this crazy market.

Photo courtesy: Cinco Ranch Realty Group

Katy’s housing market is still booming with no sign of changing, at least until the mortgage rates go up. It is still very much a seller’s market. Local agents share insider knowledge of how best to navigate the market while sharing real Katy home buying/selling stories that may shock you.

Competitive Seller’s Market Brings Bidding Wars, Multiple Offers

“The market has not shown any signs of slowing down and prices continue to rise,” says Amy Lookabaugh, owner of Cinco Ranch Realty Group. “We are still in multiple offer situations on nearly every home that comes on the market.”

Lookabaugh has heard stories of people offering way over asking price just to get in. Other agents have reported buyers offering as much as $30-$40K over the listing price as bidding wars become something often experienced in this competitive market.

“The last house I had come in over $30K over the asking price and had 15 plus offers,” says Kerri Schultz, a Katy agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty.

Homes are also not staying on the market long. Some sale in one weekend but definitely within 15-30 days at the most.

“We’re seeing homes listed way too high and/or people driving offers up way too high and the homes aren’t appraising,” says Erica Stietenroth, an agent with Keller Williams Premier and founder of The Integrated Agent. “I’ve had some appraisals coming in $30-$40k lower than contract price. It’s been ridiculous.”

Photo courtesy: Cinco Ranch Realty Group

New Construction Deals with Lumber Costs, Supply Shortages

New construction is still happening in Katy, especially north of I-10 in Cane Island and Elyson. But the market isn’t any calmer there. Lumber and supplies cost increases are driving up new build prices.

“The cost of building materials has caused continuous price increases, construction delays, cost plus contracts versus fixed rate contracts, limitations on the number of homes/lots being sold, and very little negotiations when it comes to contracting on a new build,” says Lookabaugh.

Stietenroth had a friend recently back out of a new build due to them increasing her sale price by $50k because of building costs.

“The same house last year maybe about $30k-$50k more expensive now,” says Schultz.

What Katy Neighborhoods are HOT?

So what Katy neighborhoods are hot? ANYWHERE! Katy is booming with popularity and location doesn’t seem to matter but of course, some areas still stand out.

“Master planned communities such as Cinco Ranch and Cross Creek Ranch are extremely hot right now because of the access to so many community amenities and strong resale value,” says Lookabaugh.

“Some neighborhoods like Pin Oak Village for example, are seeing a 17% increase in sales price from last year,” says Stietenroth.

According to Schultz, Cinco, Firethorne, Green Trails are all very hot right now.

As far as new builds, Cane Island recently opened new David Weekly 60-foot homesites. The community also just announced a new Katy ISD elementary will be built in the neighborhood.

Elyson on 529 near 99 continues to build new homes in new sections as well. They just announced ground breaking on the new Elyson Commons, 145 acres of outdoor amenities that will include parks, outdoor fitness center, playgrounds, walking trails, sports fields and more.

Photo courtesy: Cinco Ranch Realty Group

Expert Katy Advice

While it’s a strong seller’s market buyers can still have a good experience if they are prepared.

“Make sure you have a good agent who can explain appraisal waivers,” says Schultz. “Many buyers submitting over asking price offers should also include an appraisal waiver. This means if the house doesn’t appraise the buy is willing to pay the difference.”

“Have a pre-approval before going to look at homes so that you’re ready to jump and submit a solid offer,” says Stietenroth.

Stietenroth also stresses for buyers to patient and accept that they will most likely make many offers before they get their home.

“Work with an agent who understands contracts well,” stresses Stietenroth. “Terms can sometimes beat price and you need someone who knows how to work the terms of a contract.”

She recently got a buyer under contract on a home in Williamsburg Settlement and they were not the highest bidder. However, they got the house because their terms were more appealing.

While seller’s have the advantage in this market at the moment, there are still things they can do to make this process go smoothly.

“Come up with a moving plan before you sell,” says Lookabaugh. “Strategically price your home to maximize offers. The market is even hotter now than it was 3-6 months ago because we are in the busy summer months so if you are still interested in selling contact a local realtor to review very recent comps and walk you through the process of getting your home ready to compete in this market.”

Lookabaugh also suggests planning a short weekend vacation for the first weekend on the market so you aren't juggling kids, dogs, and 30+ showings.

Enjoy the Texas heat by cooling off at a beach. Katy has many great beaches within driving distance. Read about them here.

Who are the Katy Newcomers?

“The Katy area is growing significantly and so is the population due to the amount of people relocating to Texas and to the suburbs like Katy,” says Lookabaugh.

But she cautions want-to-be residents on the market. “As prices continue to increase, the affordability of owning a home for some becomes more difficult,” says Lookabaugh. “Especially, if you are a first time home buyer with an FHA or VA loan competing in this market is nearly impossible. Tax values are going up significantly for some homeowners creating financial stress.”

While Katy families are still opting to move within Katy statistics show a huge influx of newcomers to the area.

“People are coming from all over,” says Schultz. “Chicago, California, Hawaii, you name it!”

Stietenroth has had people move in from California, Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, and Washington.

Photo courtesy: Cinco Ranch Realty Group

Katy Magazine operates the Katy Newcomers and Friends Facebook group to connect newcomers and welcome them to the Katy community. It is a great place to ask questions and learn about all things Katy.

The group has welcomed newcomers from North Carolina, Oregon, Arkansas. Katy newcomers are truly coming from around the world as the group has also welcomed new Katy residents from Dubai, Scotland, England, and Germany.

Katy continues to grow and thrive showing how it is successfully coming out of a global pandemic. In addition, to the influx of new residents, new businesses are coming and many exciting economic development is on the horizon.

Read more about the exciting things to come in Katy’s future from a recent exclusive interview with Katy Mayor Bill Hastings.


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