From 2005 to 2009, the number of homes for sale in the Houston area rose from 5,955 to 8,622.
And in November 2012, the Houston Chronicle reported that, while the market for new homes was rising, the average selling price for a home in the city had dropped by nearly a third since 2007.
The Chronicle also reported that the average asking price for the median Houston home, which includes single-family homes, apartments, and townhomes, had fallen from $315,000 in 2008 to $215,000 a year later.
It’s possible that these figures are more indicative of a house-value bubble than a housing collapse.
But they are interesting, as are the trends they suggest.
The house-to-market ratio for the Houston metro area fell from 9.2% in 2006 to 9.0% in 2010, a number that fell again in 2012 to 9%.
At the same time, median selling prices in the metro area increased from $310,000 to $329,000.
The median asking price in the Metro Houston area was $289,000, according to the Chronicle.
In contrast, the median asking prices for homes sold in the Austin area, where the housing market has remained more or less flat for years, have risen by almost half since 2007 to $299,000 per home.
Austin, Texas, which had the highest house-buying in the country at $2,858,846, had the lowest median asking rate at $217,600.
The average asking for single-detached homes in Austin, which included condominiums and townhouses, fell from $245,000 two years ago to $225,000 now.
In Houston, the price of single-home homes in single-unit detached homes in the median price range increased from more than $300,000 just two years before to more than the $325,000 average two years later.
The Austin-based real estate agent Tom Lefebvre says that these trends point to the rise in demand for housing that he attributes to the global financial crisis and to the fact that Houstonians are living longer.
“I’m talking about people who are going to be retired and who don’t have much of a family to support,” he said.
“There’s not going to ever be another housing bubble.”
Tom Lebvre, a real estate executive with Texas Real Estate Council, said the average price increase over the past 10 years in Houston is about half the rate of the average increase in all of Austin.
That’s because the housing boom in Houston has been accompanied by a rapid growth in rents, Lefemvre said.
The increase in rents has pushed some Houstonians out of their homes, and they are buying apartments instead, Lebreve said.
According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Houston, rents in the Greater Houston market have increased by more than 15% in the past decade.
“Houston is the hot spot for a lot of people who want to buy a home,” he explained.
“It’s really the perfect place to be in the Bay Area.”
As the housing bubble has burst, Houston has become a hub for the real-estate industry.
In the past few years, the city has seen more than a dozen new apartment buildings open and another four under construction.
Houston’s real-net sales, or the number that is added to the total of all new residential real-property sales in a year, reached an all-time high in March, and the number has increased each of the past two years.
Real-net real-tales, which include the number added to a single property, have climbed to a record high of $7.5 billion in 2014, according for Zillow, the realtors’ online property information website.
But many Houstonians aren’t buying these apartments as quickly as they might have in the early years of the housing crisis.
“They’re getting their homes,” said Lefemeier.
“But they’re still paying rents.”
He said he believes the realty industry is keeping prices artificially high.
“You know, we all know that prices have gone up, but the numbers haven’t,” he continued.
“We’re getting paid a lot more than they should be.”
In January, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he would ask the city’s real estate board to study a proposal that would require landlords to include rent-stabilized units in their rental agreements.
The plan, which has been rejected by Houston City Council members, would have required developers to sell rental units at market rates or face stiff fines.
In addition to the potential fines, developers would have to build at least half the units in affordable units, which would be required by law.
The Houston Chronicle contacted dozens of real-tor agents and brokerages to see how the real numbers compare with