Yee-haw! Why Houston's housing market is growing so fast

An upscale apartment project is seen during construction in the Upper Kirby area in Houston, Texas. Houston's success with job growth in recent years has placed the city among the top markets in the country for elevated income levels, according to reports.

We've been exploring the housing market in cities across the U.S. This week, we turn our attention to Houston. There are very few areas around the country, growing as fast as Houston. In fact, the city was recently named "healthiest housing market for 2013" by Trulia. Thai Klam is a broker for RE/MAX 360 in Houston and joins us to discuss the Texas city's real estaste market.

"The economic landscape of Houston is really diverse. We have financial sectors along with the things that you think about -- oil, gas and the port of Houston. We have tons of jobs relocating here," says Klam. "If you're looking for purchasing homes in the Houston area, inventory's scarce as it is across the nation. We have such a diverse housing market that has been completely booming with the lack of new construction and pent-up demands to buy. So you're seeing a lot of rental properties coming up. You're seeing a lot of new apartment complexes being developed to accommodate the buying pool that is unable to buy. Currently right now it's a seller's market. It's shifted like that within the past, I'd probably say, 12 months. Buyers have to be educated in expectation to either submit a full-price offer or compete against other buyers that are possibly out there," says Klam.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF HOW MANY MORTGAGES ARE UNDERWATER IN YOUR STATE
 

Klam says the average price of a home is about $172,000 right now. He says at this time last year, the same home might have cost around $160,000. That's about an 8 percent appreciation over a year.

"You've got several types of buyer pools that are out there. You've have the Generation X and Y, and the Millennials coming to the market. That's about 84 million consumers altogether. And then the Baby Boomers, you're seeing a lot of downsizing as well," says Klam.

As for the outlying areas of Houston, Klam says you might be surprised to find that there's not much inventory that's out there.

About the author

David Lazarus is an American business and consumer columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...