Houston 3rd Ranked City for Price Appreciation in Past Ten Years

Houston Home Prices have Appreciated 45.5% Since 2006!

?SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Realtor.com)– Four Texas metros have topped Realtor.com's list of markets with the largest price appreciation since 2006. 

Austin-Round Rock took the top spot with 62.9 percent home price growth in ten years. In 2006, the metro's median home price was $173,510, jumping to $282,625 in 2016. 

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (51.6 percent), San Antonio-New Braunfels (45.9 percent), and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (45.5 percent) ranked third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

The only metro outside of Texas landing in the top five was No. 2 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood with 53.5 percent growth. 

Nationally, the median home price increased from $232,000 in 2006 to $236,000 last year. 

While home prices have returned to the boom levels of a decade ago, there are no signs of a real estate "bubble" bursting, says Realtor.com Chief? Economist Danielle Hale. Backed by tighter lending standards like the Dodd-Frank Act and Consumer Protection Act, current price appreciation is now driven by strong supply-and-demand fundamentals. 

Continue reading: Houston 3rd Ranked City for Price Appreciation in Past Ten Years

Home Sales Increase-Inventory Decreases-Seller's Market

Two months after Hurricane Harvey, buyers are returning to the housing market in impressive numbers.

Two months after Hurricane Harvey, buyers are returning to the housing market in impressive numbers. Some are moving on from neighborhoods that flooded to buy in ones that didn't. Others are buying storm-ravaged homes to fix up and flip. And then there are those relocating here for jobs, needing more space for a growing family or voicing any number of reasons people typically buy homes.

"I'm even busier after Harvey," real estate agent Matthew Guzman said. "We have clients that are rebuilding, clients that are purchasing and selling homes as is."

Buyers in October closed on 6,381 single-family homes, a 7.5 percent jump over the same time last year, the Houston Association of Realtors said Wednesday in a monthly report.

The median price of a home sold last month was $226,491, up 3.9 percent from last year and a high for any October in Houston.

Demand, combined with flood-damaged homes that have been pulled off the market, constrained inventory that had been loosening in recent months.

Down from a 4.3-month pre-Harvey peak, inventory fell to 3.9 months at the end of October. Months inventory estimates the time it would take to sell all the homes listed for sale based on the previous year of sales activity.

The figure continues to classify Houston as a seller's market. Yet in a place as large as Houston, the market can fluctuate wildly by neighborhood.

97,000 homes affected

Harvey dealt a serious blow to Houston's single-family housing market with 97,000 homes affected by the storm, Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston, said earlier this week in a semi-annual economic symposium.

Of those homes, 36,000 had major damage and 3,000 were destroyed, Gilmer said, citing figures from the state.

Before Harvey, housing inventory had begun to loosen in parts of town, helping to moderate recent prices increases that had led to affordability concerns, he said.

It's too early to tell how the flood will ultimately impact neighborhoods and the overall housing market, he added.

Plans to shore up Houston's infrastructure will offer some answers when they are clear.

Other unknowns relate to home construction. Builders are concerned about the availability of labor, the cost of materials and potential new flood control and drainage requirements that may be imposed on them.

In October, all segments of the housing market experienced sales gains except for homes priced below $150,000. Homes priced from $750,000 and up saw the greatest increase in sales volume.

On a year-to-date basis, home sales remain 2.8 percent ahead of the 2016 volume, according to the association's Multiple Listing Service, which tracks residential property and new home sales listed by Realtors primarily throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

Stress from flooding

Even though the housing market has rallied over the past couple of months, Houstonians whose homes flooded are facing further stress.

"We're going to see foreclosures hit people that financially were in a tight spot already," said Guzman, a Re/Max agent in New Caney, referring to flood victims who didn't have flood insurance.

Others are struggling to navigate the process of receiving insurance proceeds when they still owe money to a lender.

Many Houstonians affected by Harvey are still deciding their next moves.

The rental market continued to rise in October, bolstered by flood victims seeking temporary housing.

Single-family home leases jumped 13.6 percent while townhome/condominium leases spiked 34.8 percent.

The average rent for single-family homes was up 2.8 percent to $1,776 while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums increased 2.9 percent to $1,533.

Lewis and her sales partner Jackie Zehl are confident the Meyerland and southwest Houston areas will be revitalized as "hopefully" infrastructure improvements are made.

They've sold and closed several flooded homes there since Harvey.

"It's a myriad of buyers," Zehl said. "It's either individuals tearing them down and building anew, remodelers or investors that may fix them up and sell them."icle text here.

Continue reading: Home Sales Increase-Inventory Decreases-Seller's Market

Houston Real Estate Market is Strong

In the second full month following Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s housing market is still seeing strong demand but tight supply

In the second full month following Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s housing market is still seeing strong demand but tight supply. 

The Houston Association of Realtors reported Nov. 8 that single-family home sales totaled 6,381 in October, up 7.5 percent year over year. That marks the second month of increased sales following a major dip in August, when Harvey interfered with end-of-the-month closings. 

Sales increased among all homes priced at $150,000 and up, and the luxury segment — homes priced at $750,000 and up — saw the biggest year-over-year change, up 18.7 percent.

Total property sales also were up 6.6 percent year over year to 7,614 in October, and the total dollar volume of all sales was up 10.8 percent to more than $2.07 billion. Rental demand also remained high, with leases of single-family homes and townhomes/condominiums up 13.6 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively.

Not surprisingly, housing inventory is still constrained as flood-damaged houses have been pulled off the market and homeowners affected by Harvey have been adding to the demand. For October, HAR recorded a 3.9-month supply of inventory, up from a 3.8-month supply in October 2016 but down from the 4.3-month level reached in the weeks just before Harvey hit. 

Months of inventory estimates the number of months it would take to sell all the home listings on the market today based on the pace of sales over the past 12 months. For comparison, nationwide inventory stands at a 4.2-month supply.

With increased demand and tight supply, both the median price and the average price for a single-family home in Houston set records for an October. The median increased 3.9 percent year over year to $226,491, and the average was up 2.7 percent to $285,858.

Average rents were up in October, with a 2.8 percent increase to $1,776 for single-family homes and a 2.9 percent increase to $1,533 for townhomes and condominiums.

“The overall Houston real estate market wasted little time recovering from Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, but we’d like to see supply grow to meet ongoing consumer demand for housing,” HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties said in a press release. “Hopefully, more balanced inventory levels can be restored by early in the new year.” 

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Continue reading: Houston Real Estate Market is Strong

Oil Industry Jobs on the Rise as Prices Stabilize

In Texas, oil and gas companies have added about 30,000 jobs over the past year, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Oil companies and their equipment suppliers cut an estimated 440,000 jobs worldwide in recent years after crude prices plummeted in 2014.

But as prices stabilize above $50 a barrel, most companies expect to expand their workforces over the next year, according to a survey of the global oil industry by NES Global Talent, a recruiting firm in the United Kingdom.

Eighty-nine percent of surveyed energy employers - across North America, Europe, the Middle East and South America - believe they'll boost staffing levels over the next 12 months, with 60 percent of those saying their recruiting efforts will be "significant" and 48 percent saying salaries could increase by 5 percent.

Almost one-third of the surveyed companies said they haven't cut any jobs within the past year and believe their staffing levels will remain flat. Eleven percent expect to cut jobs, making the next 12 months the first period that the industry expects to bring on more workers than it lets go.

Twenty-three percent of these companies said they will increase their workforces by 5 percent, and 19 percent pegged the increase at 5 percent to 10 percent. Another 17 percent said they'll expand their payrolls by more than 10 percent.

NES said U.S. shale drillers have led the expansion, with Halliburton, the largest oil field services company in North America, posting the largest number of job openings this year. In Texas, oil and gas companies have added about 30,000 jobs over the past year, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

"There is a sense of positivity the likes of which we haven't seen since 2013," said Alex Fourlis, a managing director of Oilangasjobsearch.com, which partnered with NES to conduct the survey. "This is key to kick-start projects that haven't been viable in a while."

Continue reading: Oil Industry Jobs on the Rise as Prices Stabilize