Well, not so much in the summer.
The Houston Association of Realtors reported that Houston set a record for the first half of 2016, with over 36,000 sales. This was a 2.7% increase over the first half of 2015. This was during a time when most everyone—builders, developers, suppliers, economists and even cities expected and were planning for fewer sales and less business.
The single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 2.5 percent to a record high of $230,538 in June. Not long ago, the “affordable” price for a single family home as judged by the City of Houston for specific assistance programs was $140,000. Today, it’s $213,000. Rising homes prices is not necessarily good for Houston, especially when salaries don’t match the increases. See California.
Keeping prices down and affordable at all levels of income is important to our economy, so GHBA keeps a close watch on any regulations that would add to the cost of a home.
Thankfully, one number is down—land development costs. The decrease in some construction and oilfield work has made contractors extremely competitive in the pricing and bidding.
Which of us predicted a bull stock market? I sure didn’t. Yet, the S&P 500 set a new record recently. After the Brexit scares the market has roared back. When I learned that pundits, prognosticators, and experts get bonuses based on hits and followers on their social media accounts, it made me doubt who is looking for a headline and who has serious insight.
There is no doubt that the economy is personal. Our opinion of the economy is biased. If you’re working, the economy is good. If you’re not, the economy is bad.
International investors look for upside and opportunity and safety in markets, especially in a world of increasing turmoil. They’ve roared into the United States, Texas. That’s a vote of confidence.
Our readers are a well-traveled group. We’ve all seen places that are more beautiful, have scenic terrain, more comfortable summers, varied outdoor activities and thought “this place is cool, I could live here.” But, there are few places on the entire planet that offer the myriad of opportunity, a low cost of living, abundance of water, generally a fair and predictable development/construction process, a can-do attitude in business, and more amenity-filled master planned communities than anywhere else.
Even in the so-called “down time,” it’s good to be in Houston!