As a partner of the Houston real estate team of The Zoller Group of Keller Williams Realty. I thought a would take time to share the following with you.

I attended a meeting this week and the speaker was a real estate investor whose topic concerned how things have gone so far in 2009 and what the trend is for the rest of this year. He makes his living buying and selling real estate and is constantly monitoring statistics which he thinks are real estate related. He had nothing to sell and had no handouts.  All the statistics I will be stating come from my notes. I haven’t verified any of them, but did find them interesting and thought that I would share them.

The Bad News-Nationally the latest unemployment figure was 9.4% and predictions are that it might climb to 10.5%. The latest Houston unemployment figure at the time of the talk was 6.90%, which is worse than predicted at the first of the year. Yesterday I read that this increased to 8.0%.  Through May 2009, the cumulative number of  jobs lost was 56,300, also worse than predicted.  

The Good News for Houston-we’ve gained about 7000 of the jobs back and have a chance to gain most of the remainder back by the end of the year. Major projects which will help gain jobs are the 1.5 billion dollar mass transit project, the 1.4 billion dollar restoration project for the UTMB facility in Galveston, the 98.3 million dollar stimulus money for the Port of Houston and the 40 million dollar stimulus money for the Port of Galveston. There is also a new 14 story medical building nearing completion at the Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center and surprisingly to me, numerous new commercial projects planned throughout Houston.

National Real Estate Trends for single family homes:

For the last 3 months, pending sales have increased. 

 Sales in California, one of the biggest  losers real estate-wise, are double from their worst month.

May 2009  . . . job cuts were the lowest this year

The national home inventory is down to 9.7 months

Consumer sentiment is up for 4 months in a row

The HAI(Housing Affordability Index) is the highest since it became an index in 1971

The latest Durable Goods Index was up 1.8%   after predictions were for a .6% decrease

Houston Real Estate Trends for single family homes:

Home Inventory is 45,282 which is less than last year’s number of 53,305

Days on Market is 6.2 months which is considered a neutral market and is less than last year’s figure of 6.5 months. For those of you who remember the 1980’s in Houston, I believe that this number was about 2 years

May 2009 foreclosures accounted for 19.8 % of sales down from a high of 34% in January2009

Although new home sales are down 60% in Houston, we are still #1 in the nation.

The Brookings Institute has Houston as the major market least affected by the economy and ranked #5 in the “Market Expected to Rise” category.

Big Picture:

I bet that most people think that it is a strong buyers market, but the figures don’t support that. I know that some neighborhoods are worse than others, but overall it could be a lot worse.

The latest population prediction that I remember was 5.7 million in 2008 for Houston and vicinity . . . increasing to 11.7 million in 2040.  Can you imagine?!?!  If true, they gotta’  live somewhere.

If you have any information to add to this or want to discuss anything concerning this blog, please let me know.

This article was written July, 2009 by Guest Writer, JIM ZOLLER.