HOUSTON – The list of woes is long in the oil patch. The rig count is way down and layoffs in the oil business have been staggering. West Texas Intermediate crude closed below $43 a barrel Friday after being over $107 in the summer of 2014. And it looks like oil prices will be down for a long time.
But even as vultures circled over the Texas economy, drooling at the anticipation of bloody bodies, a funny thing happened: Texas home builders have been scoring success.
Houston leads the nation in new home sales again this year and Dallas is No. 2, according to Metrostudy, the national housing information company. Houston is expected to have between 25,000 and 30,000 starts in 2015 – a little less than 2014, but still better than any other market in the nation.
With a midyear prediction, Denver, Austin and San Antonio are the top three markets in the nation in Metrostudy’s new home sales forecast.
Job growth in Texas remains fairly good overall and the inventory of existing homes for sale is thin. More new master planned communities are being started home sales are strong, despite the woes of the energy industry.
Existing home sales are strong also. Statewide, 89,000 homes were sold in the second quarter, up 4.7 percent over a year earlier, according to the Texas Association of Realtors. The median home price hit an all-time record-high, too.
The Texas residential market could stumble in next year or in 2017. But for remainder of this year, at least, the housing market in the Lone Star State will remain a winner – even in Houston, the Energy Capital of the World.
In July, more than 8,000 single family homes were sold – the best month ever for Houston home sales, the Houston Association of Realtors reports. Energy may be down, but Houston’s realty seems to be bulletproof.
By Ralph Bivins, Editor