Commentary By Ralph Bivins, Editor
I just got a little worried about the Texas real estate market today.
Why? The answer can by summed up in one word: “Condos.”
The Texas Association of Realtors released a stud Tuesday saying condos “were the fastest growing segment of the Texas housing market during the first half of 2014.”
The study is well documented and solid as granite in its research techniques. Jim Gaines, a Texas A&M Real Estate Center economist whom I’ve worked with for 30 years, says the condo boom reflects the strong growth in Texas’ biggest cities. Gaines says: “There is little available land for housing development in Texas’ major metro areas, particularly in its urban centers where housing demand is strongest. Developers are now looking upward for opportunities to build and investing in multi-family developments both in these centers and even in some suburban areas. Condo sales will likely be a strong driver in the Texas housing market for the rest of the year.”
Dan Hatfield, chair of TAR, came out with a news release yesterday noting the surge in Texas condos.
The Texas condo boom gives me the heebie-jeebies. Sure, the fundamentals are there. But it’s the history of condos in Texas that concerns me. Since the late 70s, it’s always seems like a condo frenzy precedes a crash. Maybe I am overly cautious. Maybe I’m blind to the facts and condos are the key to Texas’ urban future.
But for the record: a little yellow warning flag just went up in the back of Ralph Bivins’ brain.