Houston’s housing market continues to expand despite national economic uncertainty

(Houston, TX–August 2, 2012) The only certainty present in Houston is that the housing market has been building strength each of the last four quarters and that the growth is the result of a true economic recovery in jobs and confidence, independent of the nugatory happenings outside of Texas, according to a recent report by Metrostudy, a national housing data and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market.

In November of last year Houston had numerically recovered all of the jobs it had lost during the recession. Since then, the Houston market has added another 48,500 jobs. The unemployment rate in May was 6.9-percent, which is 1.2 percentage points better than a year ago. “Through one of the hottest summers on record, the national job market seems to have stalled while the Texas economies continue to surge,” said David Jarvis, director of Metrostudy’s Houston division.

Homebuilders started 6,714 new homes in 2Q12. This total is the largest quarterly starts number since the second quarter of 2008, just before the Houston market entered the recession. The annual starts rate has increased, quarter over quarter, since bottoming out in the second quarter of 2011. Houston home builders closed 5,324 new homes in the second quarter, 16% more than the same period a year ago. “The resulting annual closings rate jumped up to 20,258. For the first time since the housing down turn began in the first quarter of 2007, the Houston market has started more homes than it has closed over the previous twelve months. “Historically, such a trend points to a growing market, as builders increase activity to meet growing demand,” said Jarvis.

As of June 2012 there were 7,035 new homes under construction. The current supply of homes under construction is 33 % higher than the second quarter of 2011. The 3,623 homes currently completed but unclosed account for only 32% of all new home inventory. Having a significantly higher supply of homes under construction compared to finished and vacant confirms the idea that the Houston new home market is expanding.

“Despite stout job growth over the last twenty-four months creating tens of thousands of new households in the Houston market, the economic uncertainty of the national and, especially, the international economic outlooks still looms over this growing market. Industry professionals are hesitant to fully believe the success they’re experiencing is sustainable due to the daily headlines commenting on the inaction and uncertainty of economic and political “leaders” in addressing issues facing the economies around the world and at home,” said Jarvis.

For information contact:
david jarvis @ 713.622.9909 x 132
email djarvis@metrostudy.com

About Metrostudy

Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing industry and related industries nationwide. In addition to providing its own primary housing data for approximately 70% of the United States housing market, the company is recognized for its consulting expertise regarding real estate development, marketing and economic issues, and is a key source of research studies evaluating the marketability of residential and commercial real estate projects. Services are offered through an extensive network of offices located in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.metrostudy.com.