Houston area leads list of healthiest housing markets...
March 06, 2009
Builder magazine ranked the nation’s best areas: 1Houston 2 Austin 3 Fort Worth 4 San Antonio 5 Dallas 6 Raleigh, N.C. 7 Seattle, Wash. 8 Indianapolis, Ind. 9 Fayetteville, Ark. 10 Washington, D.C.
New jobs and a growing population helped the Houston area top the list of the nation’s healthiest housing markets for 2009, according to Builder magazine.
Houston also didn’t experience the same level of rampant home price appreciation seen in places like Florida and California, said editorial director Boyce Thompson.
“As a result, you haven’t had huge declines in prices,” he said.
The magazine, along with Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, ranked the 75 largest markets based on what drives real estate the most: people and employment.
The weakest markets were Detroit; Stockton, Calif.; Port St. Lucie, Fla.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.
Houston is “still benefiting from an influx of population and jobs and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Ike,” according to the magazine, which is published by a division of Hanley Wood, a Washington D.C.-based media, marketing and research firm.
Home values and permits also were considered in scoring the healthiest and worst markets.
Existing home prices in the Houston area rose 2.8 percent last year to $160,200. And Houston was the largest home construction market in the country, with 42,697 building permits.
Actual home starts fell 30 percent last year, according to Houston-based Metrostudy, a housing research firm. Single-family builders started 26,223 homes in 2008.
“We have seen a decline in starts, but not anywhere near what the rest of the country has felt,” said Lisa Clark, vice president of Ryko Development and president of the Greater Houston Builders Association.
Houston wasn’t the only Texas city to score high on the list. Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Dallas rounded out the top five. Some real estate experts are expecting the market to bottom out this year. “We think things will be a little tough, but we hope for a turnaround by the end of year,” Clark said.