Rio Grande Valley realtors say demand for homes is higher than supply

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HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO)—Housing prices across the Rio Grande Valley are on an upwards trend, but realtors say there are some costs that come with having more buyers than sellers.  

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Bruno Zavaleta, owner, and broker of Zavaleta Realty said if you are going to sell your property at a high price, then you are also going to buy at a high price.

According to some experts, even though there are more buyers, there is not enough inventory to supply the demand.

The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), of the Brownsville-Harlingen area, has more than half of its active listing within the first quarter, according to The Texas Association of Realtors.

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The president of the Harlingen Realtor’s Board said millennials currently make up a big part of buyers. 

“So that millennial group is reaching their 30’s and 40’s and starting to make money, and ready to buy their first home,” said Candance Divin. “There’s just not enough of them built.” 

Zavaleta said a house can increase in price in a matter of 24 hours. A property may have anywhere from six to 17 offers on it, and it is hard to appraise them properly.  

“We might get to a point where if we don’t have an inventory then the number of comparable sales that an appraiser is going to use is going to go down,” said Zavaleta. “It’s going to be even harder for an appraiser to even appraise the house.”    

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Zavaleta said longtime residents are seeing property values go up and along with it, property taxes. 

“I’ve had three sellers call me saying hey now the appraisal district is saying that the lot is worth 30 or 100 thousand, so I was paying 10 dollars in taxes now I’m paying 20 thousand dollars in taxes,” said Zavaleta.  

Divin said one way to avoid higher taxes on your home is to not report what you are paying on it, she said it is against the law in Texas to require a resident to report it.  

Divin says instead, if you receive a letter asking, “throw it away!” 

“You do not have to report it, we are a non-report state, you don’t even have to tell the accessor what you paid,” said Divin.  

With so much activity, realtors do not know what to expect in the near future, but a professor of economy at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley said one thing is for sure, we are not in a housing bubble.  

“There’s far more support for current prices now than there were say in 2006 when we’re approaching what we then knew was a housing bubble,” said Salvador Contreras.  

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