Note: Due to the large volume of homes sold, I usually need two months to compile data. So in May, I’ll be using March data, obtained from the Houston Association of Realtors.
Mortgage Company and Loan Problems
To date, the mortgage company and loan problems you have been reading about have affected Houston housing much less than most other areas of the country. The year 2007 was the second best year in Houston on record based on the HAR stats. Total property sales were lower in 2007 than in 2006, but total dollar volume was a record high. So in a nutshell, less homes were sold, but for more money.
Sales Decline BUT Prices Increase
This trend has continued in 2008. March 2008 total property sales declined 17.3 % from March 2007, the seventh straight month of decline. The good news is that in Houston the March 2008 average sales price increased over last year by 2.0% to $208,105.The median price which is a price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less was $151,000, the same as March 2007.
Townhomes and Condos – Down in Solds and Sales
Townhomes and condo sales were down in total sold and sales prices. In March 2008, the average sale price was $159,012, a 9.7% decline from last year. The number of units sold declined by 8.5 % from last year, however this was the highest level since August 2007.
Houston Housing Market is Stronger Than Other Areas of the Country
In closing, the Houston housing market is still stronger in pricing than other areas of the country, although the foreclosures, sub prime lending problems and rising costs of gas, food, etc. have affected us. Our employment numbers and cost of living are considered some of the best in the country. In Houston, in recent years, you have been able to purchase a home for less than in many other cities and the value has increased. According to the National Association of Realtors, Houston’s current median sales price for a single family home is $151,000, compared to the national average of $193,900. We had the second best year on record in 2007. This indicates the great value of living in Houston. If your credit is good and you look on the bright side, this mortgage mess has caused interest rates to decline, making this a good time to buy.
Local Houston Characteristics
Known as both the Bayou City and Space City, Houston was founded in 1836 and named after General Sam Houston. With a population of close to 2 million, it’s 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.
Recently, downtown Houston has been transferred into a dynamic area of the city for both entertainment and residential living. Many new lofts and townhomes have been built in and near downtown and other buildings have been converted from commercial to residential use.
Houston has major league football, baseball, basketball ( men’s and women’s), and soccer teams, as well as AHL hockey. It also has separate horse and greyhound racing tracks.
For the theatre lovers, Houston is one of the few cities that has permanent ballet, orchestra, opera, and theatre companies.
Houston offers most everything you could possibly desire in real estate.
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