Houston Housing Market Expected To Remain Strong

June 18, 2008

Houston’s real estate continues to fare better than the rest of the country on the housing front with prices of single-family homes rising to the highest mark so far this year and new employment figures showing strong, sustainable growth and a historically low unemployment rate.

The Houston Association of Realtors reported that the price of a single-family home in the Houston real estate market continues to increase to an average of $208,105. That price represented a 2 percent increase in March compared to the previous 12 months. During the same time, the national average fell by 7.7 percent. The median price of a home in Houston remained flat at $151,000, which remains below the national average and reflects the lower cost of living in the Houston area.

Metrostudy, a national housing tracking and consulting company, also reported that sales of new homes in the Houston region are outpacing construction, resulting in a smaller supply of new homes and fewer incentives from builders. This, Metrostudy noted, could also result in higher new home prices, depending on demand.

“Houston’s fundamentals remain among the strongest in the nation,” said David Jarvis, director of Metrostudy’s Houston region. “Robust job growth, especially in energy-related industries, has protected Houston from some of the negative effects of the volatile credit markets. Houston is attracting workers from other areas of the U.S. with high-paying jobs, an affordable cost of living and a diverse economy. As potential homebuyers review various markets across the country in search of a bargain, Houston will be a perennial candidate.”

According to Metrostudy, Houston added an average of more than 90,000 jobs each year for the past three years ending in March.

During the past twelve months ending in March, Houston added 80,100 jobs, for a 3.4 percent growth rate, nearly 10 times the national job growth rate for the same period. Houston added more jobs during that period than any other Metropolitan Statistical Area in the nation.

University of Houston economist Barton Smith said Houston is likely to remain the fastest-growing large urban area in the country, at least through the end of the decade. That, Smith noted, will mean a further increase in homes sales in the area.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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