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The Woodlands Real Estate Market

Top Realtors Weigh In on the Past, Present, and Future

Top realtors with a proven track record, an impressive list of achievements and awards, and a strong sense of community, share their thoughts on real estate in The Woodlands. With wisdom backed by 155 years of experience, here’s what they had to say:

Beth Ferester and Grace Ferester Petty

Beth Ferester owns Corcoran Ferester Realty and has ranked in the top 20 individual realtors in the Houston Business Journal for 21 consecutive years. Beth mentors her granddaughter, Grace Ferester Petty, who is proving to be a quick study! Together they support local charities that revolve around children’s organizations including Angel Reach and Camp for All, a camp for differently abled children.

"The Woodlands started as a HUD development for low-cost housing,” Beth says, “that's how Mr. Mitchell got the funds to get started." When Beth started her real estate career in 1982, she says, “The Woodlands hadn't taken off, it was very slow, and it was very remote.” It was still a huge forest with nothing beyond Kuykendahl. Since The Woodlands opened in 1974, it has transitioned from a Houston outpost to a destination city. “When you’ve got a planned community like this, it really does draw people to it,” Beth says.

Beth and Grace see buyers gravitate toward Grogan’s Mill and Panther Creek. Since traffic has gotten heavier, the villages closest to the I45 exits are very popular, Beth says. “Everyone wants to be at the front of The Woodlands,” Grace says. “The houses have more value because everyone wants to be upfront.” Buyers will remodel, gut, or even tear down a home and rebuild it for the right location.

Beth admits that predicting the 2024 market with all its variables — interest rates, home inventory, and elections to name a few — is difficult. “We’re all hoping for and expecting a very good year in the real estate industry,” Beth says, “and a good year overall for The Woodlands.”

Jo Anne Johnson

“Yes, being a two-time champion for the #1 city in the United States to live in puts us on the map as a desirable place to live, raise a family, and even a destination city for vacations!  But beyond the beauty and fabulous amenities,” Jo Anne Johnson says, “we’re a connected and social community that gives back.  So I would emphasize the heart of The Woodlands. In fact, Dr. Dan Hannon recently noted, in outlining George Mitchell’s vision for our community and purpose for creating Interfaith, that ‘without spirituality, we’re a subdivision, not a community.’ That sums up The Woodlands.”  A resident since 1996, and Realtor, Jo Anne has witnessed The Woodlands evolve and grow even though we’re still an oversized hometown.

“We’ve enjoyed waves of people coming here from the East and West Coasts, Mexico, and many other regions, who are looking for opportunity and the benefits that our community offers! Our business-friendly state attracts people from around the world who work in oil and gas, healthcare, retail, leisure and hospitality, professional sports – you name it. As The Woodlands, and, consequently, our corporate identity has grown, so has our cultural makeup, which is a beautiful thing,” Jo Anne says.

For the last decade, it’s mostly been a seller’s market for median price points, defined by homes selling in six months or less. “The demand to live here — to enjoy the quality of living, top-ranked schools, and the hospitality and generosity in a resort-like setting — it’s hard to beat!”

Jo Anne feels blessed to welcome and serve hundreds of families each year settling into The Woodlands. Her expertise and customer service have landed Jo Anne Johnson Real Estate Group on the Houston Business Journal’s Top 25 Real Estate Teams since 2013.

Jo Anne’s team gives back by supporting local non-profits. Jo Anne has been involved with HOPE for Will Herndon, Interfaith, Project Beacon, Montgomery County Food Bank, church ministries, and others through the years.  “This matters most to me and my team - that we remember where our blessings flow from, and that we do our part to give back.”

Mike and Ally Seder

The Seders own The Mike Seder Group — an award-winning real estate firm with over three billion dollars in residential and commercial sales. Mike and Ally give generously of their time and talent. They are ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital. Ally founded and chairs “Open Your Purse for Change,” a Montgomery County Women’s Center’s fundraiser, and serves on their Board of Directors. Ally is also on the Advisory Board for the Canopy Cancer Survivorship Program at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

After a remarkable tenure of over 25 years with ReMax, in 2024 Mike Seder made the strategic decision to transition to eXp Realty. This move is driven by his pursuit of a superior digital platform that empowers him to provide enhanced services to clients on both local and global scales. Recognizing the evolving landscape of real estate, Mike sees eXp Realty's advanced digital offerings as a catalyst for elevating the client experience and staying at the forefront of the industry's technological advancements.

“Both Mike and I feel that it will be a very strong market for luxury homes, as well as non-luxury,” Ally says. Within the luxury market, Mike and Ally have noticed a trend. More buyers want exclusive design elements and high-end materials in a smaller footprint. “They don’t want to compromise just because they’re downsizing,” they say, “and builders are starting to catch on.”

Luxury buyers won’t be compromising as the highly anticipated Ritz-Carlton Residences breaks ground in The Woodlands. This high-rise with 111 luxury condominiums is being built along Lake Woodlands and aligns perfectly with today’s smaller footprint demand. Douglas Elliman is the exclusive listing agency, and floorplans range from two-bedroom homes starting at over $2 million to four-bedroom penthouses at $11 million plus. “The lobby will have a concierge, valet, and Chef Jean-George restaurant,” Ally says. Plans also include a gorgeous pool, fitness center with cold plunge and sauna, pickleball court, golf simulator room, private dock with kayaks and paddle boards, cutting garden, dog park, and wine storage and tasting room. The initial selling phase is underway. “Mike and I are optimistic that these (homes) will be sold before they ever go public, as there seems to be more demand than supply,” Ally says.

Haley Garcia

The Haley Garcia Group consistently ranks as one of Texas’ top real estate teams in the Houston Business Journal and Real Trends. Haley has been named in Houston Business Journal’s Top 25 Residential Real Estate Teams annually since 2016.

Haley is a distinguished professional specializing in luxury, residential, and commercial real estate, with expertise encompassing new construction homes and office condominiums. With over 24 years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge from her background as an executive coach, successfully leading sales teams nationwide. This unique perspective enables her to tailor her services to meet the precise needs of each client.

Haley is committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends and best practices. This commitment to excellence positions Haley as a trusted advisor dedicated to delivering exceptional results for her clients.

In The Woodlands, the commercial real estate landscape is experiencing significant growth, contributing to the development of small businesses and enhancing community services. Haley is proud to represent a collaborative effort between XSpace and Howard Hughes in the prestigious Town Center.  XSpace stands out by offering fully customizable non-residential spaces, with the added convenience of vehicle accessibility extending up to the third floor. Haley shares, "The initial interest has been diverse, ranging from a yoga studio and chiropractor to a law office and real estate agency."  Reflecting on the evolving work landscape post-pandemic, Haley notes that after experiencing the flexibility of remote work, individuals are seeking alternatives to traditional office spaces. "The buyers recognize the value of a personalized, hybrid workspace that aligns with the way we live today," she adds. “I love the fact that we're getting new and different ideas that really serve how our wonderful community is evolving”.

Haley actively contributes to our community through various avenues. She consistently supports local non-profit organizations through generous donations and holds prominent board positions. Currently, Haley holds the esteemed position of Vice President at The Woodlands Art Council. She assumes the role of Chair for the Art Dash, a significant event in collaboration with The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival and the November Texas Fine Craft Show. Additionally, she dedicates her time as a Board Member for New Danville, a commendable non-profit organization focused on serving adults with special needs. Her commitment and leadership in these capacities underscore her dedication to the betterment of our community.

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” This certainly rings true for these top realtors who go above and beyond for their clients, who share their time and talent with local organizations, and who generously share their insight here.

“We’re all hoping for and expecting a very good year in the real estate industry,” Beth Ferester says, “and a good year overall for The Woodlands.”

“The demand to live here — to enjoy the quality of living, top-ranked schools, and the hospitality and generosity in a resort-like setting — it’s hard to beat!”  JoAnne Johnson 

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