“What I see on my bike rides,” writes 2-wheeled real-estate observer Lou Minatti, “is that construction has ground to a halt in Katy.” A few more louminating observations on the cycles of West Houston real estate:
The main upscale neighborhoods in the Houston metro area lie between downtown Houston and Katy, in the corridor south of I-10 and north of Westheimer/FM1093. Houston residents know what I am talking about. That narrow 30 mile x 8 mile corridor contains the trendy new “lofts” near downtown, expensive new condo towers in the Galleria area, River Oaks, Memorial, the Villages and Cinco Ranch. . . .
Me? I live north of I-10, the crappy side. It was a nice quiet place when we moved out here in 1995. It’s still an OK place, no real problems. But property values have been flat since 2000. The houses on this side of the freeway are between $100k-$150k. Here’s the thing: Long-time readers here have seen my videos and have seen the inventory and foreclosures from my bike tours. The new houses in these videos [both featured in this Swamplot post from last fall] have all been sold, and this is AFTER the shady lending was stopped. I did a video update three weeks ago [above] and didn’t post it on YouTube because there’s almost nothing on the market! In my subdivision of 900 houses there are two houses for sale and one foreclosure. That’s it.
So… cheap houses north of I-10 move quickly, nicer houses in the I-10/Westheimer corridor are moving slowly. Did we get the subprime crap out of our system two years ago when I was seeing the problem, or is this the calm before storm? I don’t know. I do know that the last time “boom town” was used to describe my neck of the woods it became “bust town” soon thereafter.
- Boomtown Katy [Lou Minatti]
- January 2009 Real Estate [YouTube]
- Royce, Centex, and Roadkill: Touring New Construction in Katy [Swamplot]