Sunday, May 07, 2006

Houston home prices on upswing after period of small annual gains

Area may avoid market slowdowns seen elsewhere
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Driven by a strong economy, the median price per square foot for a home rose 3.8 percent last year, up from less than 1 percent in 2004, according to a study by Evert Crawford of Crawford Realty Advisors in conjunction with the University of Houston's Institute for Regional Forecasting. The median price indicates half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Although the overall increase was well below the 13 percent rise nationally in the median home price, Houston's slower pace may help this market avoid the sort of slowdown already seen in some other cities that registered tremendous gains in recent years.

The median price in Houston for 2005 was $70.04 per square foot, which would mean a 2,000-square-foot house would cost $140,080.

Real estate agents, economists and analysts attribute the improved market to strong job growth thanks to the climb in oil prices that has driven the rapid expansion of local energy companies.

Population growth

Experts said 75,000 new jobs created in the region last year underscore the strong market for homes, as does a population that could double in the next 25 years.

Read the complete article from the Houston Chronicle

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