Houston Home Prices Break October Records; What Trump Means for the Texas Energy Industry


Photo: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool


14 Comment

  • That housing data is interesting, because in my neighborhood where the average sale price matches the city at large, about half of the listings have price reductions, some in double digit percentages. So either there’s a lag here or people are waaay overpricing their homes.

  • @meh, That’s just the nature of how HAR does their reporting. Looking solely at dollar volume and average sales price does not provide a full picture of the real estate market. Dollar volume and demand is holding steady because people are now getting more value for their money than they have been in the past 2 years. This also with the even lower financing rates in play right now.
    I’m keeping an eye on the lower end in the central areas and the homes that are really selling are being listed at 2015 HCAD market value or slightly below it. Otherwise the listing period drags on with numerous reductions before final sale. If you’re not price sensitive there’s some very nice homes listed well below HCAD values all over town, but there’s certainly no rush to buy from what I can see.

  • also, RE that mansion the city burned down, anyone else see this line and have a big question mark, “There was no immediate word on whether there were two cats in the yard. “

  • Trump’s energy policy will definitely kill off a lot of the oil industry as it will guarantee low crude prices for years to come …. but it will be a great opportunity for raising taxes at the pump.

  • “Existing home sales totaled 4,963 in October, down 1.4 percent versus the same month last year.” and Total active listings up 9.2% y/y

    overlooked bearish signs.

  • RE new pre elect, it’s the trade policy that worries me. A lot of oil demand is tied to global trade so if you really wanted to crater crude prices and increase layoffs in energy intensive states, than protectionist tariffs is a very good way to go.

  • Yeah, in general its the prospect of steep protectionist tariffs that bothers me. If the policy is brought about especially quickly, the shocks to the market prompted by such massive inflation will be tremendously disruptive to the global economy. The ramifications will extend far and wide, and oil is certainly a globally fungible commodity.
    The other big question mark is policy toward new vehicular technologies. If electric cars are the future then at least a quarter of the demand for oil is at risk. Under Trump, what is good for coal could be bad for oil.

  • joel – it’s a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song reference carried over from the first line: “Their house was a very, very, very fine house.” (the song is “Our House”)
    I think it was the reporter’s attempt at humor.

  • @joel, are you too young to remember CSN and sometimes Y?

  • RE Mattress Mack you gotta admire his ability to get free advertising. He sold $23M worth of mattresses that probably cost him $2.3M, pay back $10M and pocket the rest plus free publicity! Hard to say he lost anything.

  • @The Niche, and is an important note as well. Tariffs always come with unintended consequences so the odds of pulling off something like that without unnecessary short term pain is never likely in the first place. Trying to do that in the middle of Brexit could make for a very interesting reality show to say the least.
    Pres elect is already struggling to find capable and highly qualified individuals to fill his cabinet so safe to say the economic advisement team will not be of the highest caliber.
    As an energy industry worker I feel like I’m completely dependent on china and india continuing to be mass exporters in order to grow their income base and internal oil demand. I’d agree that western demand has peaked with potential for reductions in the coming future.

  • Big thanks for the song reference all. Hipster millennial here so while I’m big on some british folk just never made it to the CSN discography.
    I seriously thought maybe there were two cats that went up in flames running around the yard or something.

  • While I despise Trump with every fiber, it is interesting to note that there has been an increase in manufacturing related to the oil field in Texas because of the drop in energy prices. While many industries would take massive and highly destructive tariffs to bring production back to the US, there are some industries that could grow faster with some minor playing field leveling with exporting countries.

  • @ Old School: The off-cycle manufacturing boomlet in Texas relates almost completely to the precipitous decline of natural gas prices along the Gulf Coast. That was an event that happened almost a decade ago, but it has taken time for the effect to ramp up into tens of billions of dollars of new chemical plant construction. The problem is that once these plants are complete, they won’t employ a whole lot of people. They’re heavily-automated now, and just insanely capital-intensive regardless of their geographic location. That, and political risk and property rights (oddly, it may seem in these past few days) is why the USA is still competitive in this subsector of manufacturing.