Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Houston, We Don't Have A Problem

Houston's housing market is enjoying it's energy-based economy, foreign investors, its place as a relocation destination and a lack of frenzied housing appreciation.

by Broderick Perkins
© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

Unauthorized use of this story is a copyright violation -- a federal crime

Deadline Newsroom - Houston is hot.

High rise Galleria area condos are selling, Chinatown homes are moving and, generally, home prices are up.

Some thanks goes to the influx of foreign buyers looking for bargains.

And give credit to the town's strong energy-based oil economy, its lure as a corporate relocation destination and its second home market attraction.

Perhaps most important is the yet-to-be realized, underlying potential. During the boom, the southeastern Texan market never went hog wild with skyrocketing home prices, like other now-deflated major metro markets.

That means there's room to zoom.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight found home prices in the Texan town up 4.38 percent in the first quarter this year, compared to a year earlier, but up only 26 percent during the past five years.

That's a more sustainable rate of home price appreciation, which also makes the market more attractive to investors and owner-occupants alike who've shied from over-grown, over-priced markets elsewhere in the greater Southwest and Western U.S.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors, sales of single-family homes in June were up in seven and down in 34 of the town 41 real estate market regions, compared to a year earlier. The median home price was up in 18 out of 41 regions. Overall, the median price on single-family detached homes in June was up 1.3 percent from a year earlier.

Experts with their feet on the ground -- your friendly, neighborhood Houston area real estate agents -- also give the market high marks.

Agents reporting to RealtyTimes' Market Conditions Report say the market is leaning toward a buyer's market and they rate it about a 2 in a 1-to-5 market where 1 is the strongest buyer's market and a 5 is the strongest seller's market.

However, agents indicate Houston may be a buy-now-or-lose-it-later market because even as buyers rule, prices are rising.

Houston real estate agents give the market a 3.5 on a home price scale where 1 indicates prices are falling hard and 5 indicates prices are taking off.

Now if they could just do something about those hurricanes.

© 2008 DeadlineNews.Com

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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group -- DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

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1 comment:

Relocation Inner Loop said...

i read this in the news “Houston is doing better than most of the country, mostly due to energy,” said Barton Smith, economics professor and director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting, University of Houston. “We’ve been affected by the effects of the real estate crisis in the last 12 months. The difference between Houston and the rest of the country is that we are holding up against the storm, compared to the rest of the nation.”While other parts of the country have been hit hard by the mortgage crisis, Houston has remained resilient, as more workers enter the area to fill jobs—and buy houses. Despite an overall drop in sales, housing prices have continued to rise.