SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — In times of financial crisis, the housing market is an indicator of how the economy is fairing from a consumer perspective.
“One of the first things sold is property,” explained RE/MAX Elite Realtor Gayle Hood.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, properties were being sold at a higher rate and realtors were closing deals at market price or better on South Padre Island.
“We don’t get hit as hard for those desperate sellers as other areas do,” said Hood.
South Padre Island has a unique market because the southernmost region of Texas and surrounding cities are considered low income, according to US Census data.
Neighboring city Port Isabel has an average of 32% of persons living in poverty.
Property on South Padre Island is predominately a second home or rental, according to Hood, but those on the market saw a drop in potential buyers amid COVID-19.
“When this happened everything shut down and nobody could get to the island, there was a month that we had virtually no showings, no one could even get here.”
As Texas Governor Greg Abbott has lifted travel restrictions, beaches have since reopened and consumer confidence is growing in the housing market, Hood has taken more calls and expects properties to be sold at higher market value as demand grows.