Houston Real Estate - Bright Spot in Nation

The Greater Houston Partnership recently released an overview of the Houston, Texas economy - marking a bright spot during the midst of turmoil in the US economy has experienced in the third quarter of 2007.

As nationwide problems with sub-prime mortgages continue to make front page news, Houston area residents question: how is the Houston area market faring? Much better than many other parts of the US is the answer, thanks in part to a strong and diversified job market, strong oil prices, and a housing market that is still appreciating. In addition, Houston area real estate continues to be a good investment option with strong job growth and a fast-growing economy.

Houston Economy

While during the 1980's the Houston area economy was pre-dominantly reliant upon the energy industry, currently the energy sector contributes for about 40% of the region's GDP. Today, the Houston economy is based on a broad spectrum of industries including: Oil and gas exploration, basic petroleum refining, petrochemical production, Medical research, health care delivery and high-technology (computer, aerospace, environmental, etc.) The Houston economy is highly diversified, with over 50% of the workforce employed in sectors that are marginally, if at all, affected by changing energy prices.

The most widely followed series on the Houston economy is the establishment employment data, released each month along with the unemployment rate. The Houston economy is good and rental rates are expected to increase. The Houston economy is particularly tied to trade. The Houston economy is global in reach with its world renowned energy business, medical center, sea port, and the NASA Space Center.

Houston Texas Real Estate Statistics

The Houston Texas Real Estate market has also been experiencing gains, while much of the rest of the US has been suffering. This is thanks in part to the good balance between supply and demand and the near absence of the speculative excess in real estate prices that were seen on both coasts of the US over the past 10 years. The number of Houston home sales pending at the end of July 2007 and expected to close within 30 days was up 8.1% from a year earlier - a good sign for the market.

Houston Area Investment Opportunities

Within the $80,000 to $150,000 real estate market, Houston's MLS system shows moderate weakness for the second half of 2007, terming the decline "clearly the result of the mortgage and lending issues."

Specific Houston Area Neighborhoods have seen price declines and additional inventory on the market for homes of this type. Savvy Houston real estate investors have begun to buy additional distressed and foreclosed homes at attractive NPV's and cap rates. They are taking advantage of distress in the sub-prime sector (e.g. good buying opportunities), while realizing that strong regional job growth rates are providing for increased rental and housing demand. This mix can create an attractive real estate investment portfolio for people looking to generate recurring cash flow within this market.

About the Author:

Paige Martin is a member of the prestigious Martha Turner Properties' Circle of Excellence, an award given to honor the company's top producers. Paige is a member of the Houston Assoc. of Realtors, Texas Assoc. of Realtors, and the National Assoc. of Realtors. Her website, http://www.HoustonProperties.com, features over 500 pages of Houston real estate information and details on over 40,000 properties for sale

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