Texas’ Downtown Highrise Boom; Houston’s Official City Song


Photo of the Chase Tower sky lobby: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


10 Comment

  • I love all of the vacuous “analysis” of our local housing market where inconvenient truths get buried for the sake of sales. Absolutely hilarious that people are parading a slight February sales gain which is a statistical work of fiction. It’s funny how all of these supposedly reliable sources neglected to mention that 2016 was a leap year, meaning this February had an extra day of closings!
    On another entertaining note, Hovnanian Enterprises is exiting the San Francisco housing market calling it “frothy” with land prices which are almost “speculative”. Gee, You think?
    Here is some food for thought for all of those interested in the local real estate scene. The Houston market is still faring pretty well all things considered, but that doesn’t change the reality of an overbought, overbuilt real estate sector. There is a reason interest-only mortgages are appearing again…home prices are too high, and many new home prices are nothing but an invitation for equity destruction. To the casual observer, particularly someone from out-of-state or from a foreign country, local home prices might look reasonable, but anyone with with moderate math skills and knowledge of the local market can discern that prices are still detached from fundamentals.
    For the time being, low mortgage rates and foreign capital flight flowing into U.S. real estate are still providing a buffer to bubble-level home prices. How long this continues is anybody’s guess. What’s not in question is the inevitable reversion to mean housing market fundamentals which will leave another crop of home buyers in a precarious position. This situation is already playing out in West Texas, and those who think Houston will be immune from the downturn are deluding themselves.

  • Everyone knows Houston’s city song was written by Lee Hazlewood and sung by Dean Martin.

  • Considering that the margin of error in HAR’s monthly reports can be as high as 9%, I’ll wait for the readjusted stats, thank you. But it’s typical of HAR to fiddle while Rome burns.

  • From HAR: “New listings helped inventory grow from a 2.7-months supply to 3.4 months.”

    Gotta love that spin!

  • Memebag, I give all credit to Joe “King” Carrasco. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CChr–KSrYk

  • The boom pushed a lot of people to the sidelines in the housing market. Builders inside the loop rushed to the high end of the market because land prices went up so quickly. In the burbs, builders also went big because demand was off the charts and supply was extremely short. So, say what you want about HARs statistics, Mr. Plant’s observations about inventories for over/under $500k tell the current story better than year over year figures.

  • Re: High-rise downtown living: Why is it that no Houston developer has tried marrying condos to an upscale urban hotel in one building? It’s not a new idea, and has been successful in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and numerous out of state cities. The only thing we have here are the Four Seasons Residences, and if I’m not mistaken, those are rentals.

  • @ Old School:
    With all due respect, you don’t know what you are talking about. HAR inventory data through February 29 2016 for single family homes (all counties) is actually showing more than 3 months of supply for every price band starting at $250,000 or higher. The $250,000-$299,999 price segment actually shows 3.9 months of inventory. Inventory in every price range above that is 4 months or more. For the $400,000-$499,999 price segment (single-family, all counties) inventory shows to be….6.6 MONTHS!
    It appears to me that Swamplot might want to look into that story for some “clarification” on the low inventory. Looking at single-family inventory for Harris and Fort Bend County, it appears months of inventory are at least 3.0 or higher in every price band $250,000 & up. Things that make you go Hmmm.

  • Wait, is there even such a thing as a downtown area hotel not built with taxpayers having to chip in on some of the funding? I’d assume however they may be financed would be one of the main reasons.

  • Take a chill pill Aaron, inventory numbers (and their rates of change) are one of the best indicators of the supply/demand nature of the market. Additional granularity in the inventory needs to be introduced, sure, but most of the inventory and sales figures I have seen have shown strength in the 150-250 market, mediocre performance in the 250-500 market, and poor performance in the bands outside of those two ranges.