The Texas economy has been booming lately, despite the drop in oil prices earlier this year that many worried would slow down hot job market growth. Big cities, particularly Houston and Austin, have been reaping the benefits of this upward economic trend, with hundreds of people moving into each city weekly. Houston’s unemployment rate is now only 4.2%, well below the national average. In fact, 30% of job growth in the US since 2000 took place right here in Texas! That’s more than double any other state. Houston individually is 13th in the nation for job growth potential in the last three years, beating out tech meccas San Francisco and Austin. Nearly a quarter of Texas residents live in Houston, but the city accounts for about a third of the job growth in the state. In short, the economy in Texas is doing great in general, and Houston is doing even better.
While some people were concerned the city was overly dependent on oil and gas revenue and lower oil prices would bring the economy to a halt, the local market is actually more diverse than you might think. There are 26 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Houston metro area, and many of them have nothing to do with the oil and gas industry. These include aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare, and a wide variety of other non-energy industries.
Some media outlets have been warning that the housing market in Houston would have gone into a serious decline by now, but those predictions have simply not come to pass. It’s true the market has slowed back to almost-normal growth rates compared to the feeding frenzy of last year, but prices have continued to rise and demand remains high. According to a press release by the Houston Association of Realtors, Houston’s housing market currently has 3.1 months supply of homes available, compared to 2.8 months at the same time last year, but the national supply is 5.3 months supply.
The average price of a home in Houston is $292,040 as of June 2015, and the median price is $223,000, a ten percent jump from last year. The market is alive and well, and poised in an unusual place right now that makes it a good time to buy and a good time to sell. Prices are no longer skyrocketing, so the motivation to hold onto a property for a few more years in hopes the price will increase dramatically isn’t as present as it has been in recent years. At the height of the boom, many home owners felt it would be crazy to sell, since values were going up so quickly. Home values are still increasing, but at normal rates, significantly more slowly than before.
Conversely, it’s still a good time for a buyer to invest, because prices are only going to continue going up. Part of this market growth is driven by out-of-state transplants who bring in big money from selling properties in the northeast and California and want to invest that money into a new Houston home. Because home prices are comparatively a bargain, they can afford more house for less money than they could in other booming economies. Single family home prices are already at an all-time high and will continue to grow, so it’s a good time to take the plunge if you’ve been thinking of purchasing a home. Whether you’re interested in buying or selling, Circa Real Estate is ready to help you get a great deal.