Houston Real Estate Market Condition Report – January 2008
Sometimes known as the Bayou City or Space City, Houston, Texas was founded in 1836 and named after General Sam Houston. With a population of close to 2 million, it’s reported to be the 4th largest city in the United States. The city has been a dynamic center of business since the early 1900s and is also the leader in space technology, being home to NASA and the Johnson Space Center. The port area is thriving and connected to the city by the Houston Ship Channel. Other well known areas are Interstate 10’s Energy Corridor, the Galleria, and the world class Texas Medical Center. Houston’s feel is diverse, with both a high rise skyline and waterways like the Buffalo Bayou, which winds through the city.
Downtown Houston has recently been transformed into a dynamic area of the city known for both entertainment and residential living. Many new lofts and townhomes have been built in and near downtown. Other buildings have been converted from commercial to residential use.
Houston has major league football, baseball, basketball (men’s and women’s), soccer teams, and AHL hockey. It also has separate horse (in the northwest area of Houston) and greyhound racing (in the southern portion of Houston) tracks.
For the theatre lovers, Houston is one of the few cities that has permanent ballet, orchestra, opera, and theatre companies.
Houston real estate offers most everything you could possibly desire.
Note: Due to the large volume of homes sold, I usually need two months to compile data. So in January, I’ll be using November data, obtained from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).
To date, the mortgage company and loan problems you have been reading about have affected Houston real estate much less than most other areas of the country. Although total home sales decreased in November by 10.2%, the average sales prices increased over last year. The median price which is a price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less was $150,000, a 1.7 % increase from November 2006. The average sales price was $205,815. This is a 6.4% increase over last year’s value.
Townhomes and condo sales were up in price but lower in number over last year. In November 2007, 489 units were sold at an average sale price of $162,371. This is a 3.6 % increase in price over November 2006, but a 10.8 % decrease in number sold.
In closing, the Houston real estate market is still stronger in pricing than other areas of the country, although the foreclosures and sub prime lending problems appear to have affected us all. During recent years, you have been able to purchase a home for less in Houston than in comparison to many other cities . . . and the value has increased. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Houston’s current median sales price for a single family home is 27.1 % less than the national average. We are on pace for the second best year on record. This indicates the great value of living in Houston.