Summer 2017 Snapshot: Houston Residential Real Estate Outlook
Although experts generally agree that the Houston economy has diversified significantly over the last 30 years, the fact remains that the oil and gas industry continues to dominate economic indicators here, including the housing market. As local industry observers know all too well, the dramatic drop in oil prices in 2014 dramatically affected the local housing market. Oil prices have inched up and appear to be holding steady, at least for now. That’s enabled something of a recovery in the Houston housing market.
According to the latest figures released by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), each month of 2017 during the first six months reflects positive sales. That’s significant because it’s the first such string of growth since the 2014 downturn. March and May saw double-digit gains, and during the month of June HAR reported the largest single month sales volume in Houston history – a remarkable accomplishment.
Interestingly, the segment posting the largest increase was for homes in the $750,000 and up category. Sales in that category rose 13% over the prior year. Home prices in the Houston area are also continuing a slow but steady rise.
The growth in Houston bucks a national trend, where sales of existing homes fell nearly two percent in June, which the National Association of Realtors attributed at least in part to low inventories. While significant uncertainty remains in the Houston area about oil prices and the impact on the economy, several area builders are moving full speed ahead in and around Houston, with new or expanded developments announced in Clear Lake and Cypress.