Texas Leads in Housing Starts; Houston Home Prices Shoot Up

Photo of KPFT at 419 Lovett Blvd.: Patrick Feller via Swamplot Flickr Pool


10 Comment

  • Well, at least I am glad they recognized, and saved the cemetery. It is a shame there is nothing left close by to reflect the history of the mill, or cotton gin. Nice to imagine incorporating a little museum, coffee shops, restaurants around a small museum as part of Uptown.
    For those who are not familiar with the area, it is on a street called Wynden Drive (43 S Wynden Dr). https://www.google.com/maps/@29.7549457,-95.4604194,3a,75y,156.84h,97.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8tSJQpk84Al8VQytYSnEww!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  • The subject of co-living as a trend in housing is starting to look very interesting…but not really in the same sense as the Bisnow article suggests.
    As baby boomers downsize and ultimately pass away, and those events are reflected in the housing market, a very large segment of the housing stock will turn over onto the market. In their lifetime, boomers witnessed a doubling of the average size of new homes and a halving of average household sizes. Generational change is not limited to demography; the attitude of younger generations toward material excess and inefficiency has changed qualitatively (although, to be clear, I am not saying that their propensity for crass conspicuous consumerism has changed quantitatively), so that really big houses are more likely to be seen as a negative rather than a positive by a larger share of the market. I predict a great reckoning in terms of the pricing of quite many of these . Demographers and municipalities need to start asking what will become of America’s oversized houses.
    One option is going to be co-living. Got a five-bedroom house? Put two small families in it. Or turn it into a kind of boarding house. I predict seeing this a lot more often…wherever deed restrictions and zoning permit it. Doesn’t sound appealing? Well…if these assets are to be utilized economically, their price will dictate how they are rationed.

  • Shaking head at Houston record keeping and the Low Income Housing Fund. Unbelievable! So they traced it back to when they changed their accounting system. Who the heck is managing these projects? Where are the financial controls?!?!?! How much more money is lost and not working for the city!. Maybe there really isn’t a problem with the pension funds! How would they ever know one way or the other. Good God!

  • Co-Living is a Ponzi scheme! At best it is only a temporary living solution until one makes enough money to live on their own. People just don’t like each other enough for this to be realistic en masse!

  • TheNiche, it wouldn’t surprise me if a growing percentage of households find large homes inappropriate or unnecessary within the next 20-30 years, but given the overall huge population increases expected in Houston and other large cities over that time – I struggle with the notion that these homes will not find willing buyers.
    Also, keep in mind that technological advances (vastly-improved insulation, efficient A/Cs, robovacs, etc) continue to minimize both the inconveniences and the environmental externalities associated with a larger home. Our 4500 sq foot house uses less energy than our old 2800 sq ft house, mainly due to better insulation, newer appliances, and mature trees that keep the house well-shaded. And we love our Roomba.
    In any case, most single-family homes of average or larger size in the greater Houston area are located in deed-restricted communities that prohibit cohabitation by multiple families, subdividing of lots, or even construction of garage apartments and guest houses.

  • Re: Houston Officials Apparently Haven’t Been Keeping Very Good Track of Low-Income Housing Funds
    I wouldn’t put it past said “officials” from being unable to find their collective behinds using both hands, either. After all, everyone knows that the City only hires the best and the brightest [sarcasm].
    This squandering only infuriates taxpayers and disappoints the people who were to benefit from this program. A truly lose-lose outcome. Basic accounting is not rocket science.

  • (Dana Carvey Old Man voice) Back in my day, we didn’t have “co-living” with your fancy schmancy shared amenities and private spaces. We had a thing call ROOMMATES. You would sick a sign up on the light post by the coffee shop and hope that you would find someone who wasn’t currently an ax murderer. And you almost always ended up with some punk rocker who would steal your Cheerios and blow your deposit when he jammed his guitar through the drywall after his band broke up. AND THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS AND WE LIKED IT.

    And scene.

    it is interesting how residential housing has evolved over time in the US. It used to be presumed that residential housing would be multi-generational. Grandparents would always come to live with their children. Young couples would live at home until they had enough money to strike out on their own. The craftsmen era brought about smaller inexpensive houses that let young families move out of larger multi-generational homes or crowded tenements in the cities. WWII further encouraged dividing up larger homes for multiple residences with incentives to house soldiers. Highways and sprawl all but ended multi-generational housing while the McMansion movement convinced every family that they would not be happy with anything less than 3000 sq ft. The irony may be that now the baby boomers are retiring and may end up moving in with their kids in the McMansions while their grand kids are also still living at home due to poor job prospects after college. And we are back where we started 150 years ago.

  • Lest the nation suffer a demographic disaster akin to Japan’s, we need young immigrant families (which tend to be bigger) to move into these large homes after they are vacated by empty-nesters. The young families then pay social security taxes to keep that program afloat. All of this talk about communal living and rationing sounds vaguely Stalinist.

  • @ HouCynic: I am not sure that you fully understand what a Ponzi scheme is.

    @ Grant: I’m not suggesting that the market won’t clear. It’s just that the price will change in accordance with consumer tastes and demography, and that so too will the way that some of these homes are utilized. And indeed, circumstances will vary by jurisdiction, which is why I suggested that the trend would be of particular interest to municipalities.

  • I think Co-Living is viable. In a way, every adult who lives with Mom & Dad and every parent who lives with a kid is doing it.
    Remember when apt-complexes had communal laundries? Now every unit has it’s own machines which is not space- or capital-efficient.
    A shared laundry room, heat/hot water boiler and solar cell array can be shared in a co-housing set-up.
    I’d think ideally co-housing should allow some residents to do without cars, so should be close to schools, city centers and transit options.
    I think only zoning and neighborhood covenants stand in the way