‘Not enough houses,’ experts respond as Elon Musk calls more people to Cameron County

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) —Realtors say that Elon Musk’s tweet from last week caused a wave of interest in the housing market, but experts are saying that there are not enough houses available.   

Realtors like Bruno Zavaleta said that they started to receive calls from investors and SpaceX enthusiasts looking to buy property in Cameron County.  

“I mean at one point I told my seller don’t come home, just stay away that way we can just let all the showings happen,” said Zavaleta.  

Expert Economist and Associate Professor of Economics & Finance at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley said that the inventory of houses available will only hold for another month, and prices will increase.  

“The average home in Cameron County sold for $230,000 in February with a little over two months of inventory,” said Contreras. “That is to say that at the current sales pace the region will run out of houses to sale in 60 days or so.” 

According to studies from the affordable housing organization, Come Dream Come Build, residents in Cameron County would have to make $14 an hour to afford a two-bedroom, one-bathroom, but the average wage is $9 an hour. 

However, Zavaleta said that the buyers interested are not local.  

“This morning I did a FaceTime tour from someone from California, I’ve written an offer up from people from Austin, I’ve spoken to people from Wisconsin,” said Zavaleta. “I’ve got a guy driving down from Atlanta next week to come down and see a property.” 

Zavaleta said it’s not just Brownsville where people are buying, for example, one property had six offers in a day on South Padre Island and similar cases in Harlingen, too. 

Contreras said that many building permits are being issued in Cameron County, though it doesn’t mean houses are being built yet, and instead, more apartment complexes are being laid out.

HE added that other markets that could benefit are hospitality and retail. 

“Retail is also benefiting,” said Contreras. “Let’s remember that some 12% of all employees in the RGV are tied to the retail sector.” 

Though Musk’s tweet promised $30 million, the region has not yet heard from Musk himself. 

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