According to a recent article in Houston Agent Magazine citing Metrostudy’s 2017 first quarter report, Houston saw the second highest number of housing starts in the country, second only to Dallas-Fort Worth.
25,789 housing starts began in the first quarter of this year in Houston, and Metrostudy is estimating a 3 percent to 4 percent increase in single family starts on a year-over-year basis by the end of 2017. The highest volume of new home starts was within the $200,000 to $299,999 price range, though housing starts in all other price ranges remained stable with recent years’ data.
“Houston continues to experience a very competitive new home sales environment although builders have begun to succeed at selling through previously built up spec home inventory,” said Lawrence Dean, regional director of Metrostudy’s Houston market. “Closings surpassed starts in the fourth quarter, continuing a trend that began in fourth quarter 2015. Builders closed 6,567 homes in 1Q 2017, down 3.8 percent from 1Q 2016. Builders have generally expressed being pleased with their overall sales volume in 2017 but did report margin suppression at the higher price points.”
The percentage of all homes in Houston’s inventory that are finished vacant has remained above the 35% equilibrium threshold identified by Metrostudy for most of the last twelve months.
Inventory remained consistent compared to last year with 23,657 true resale listings. While currently, there is only a 3.5 months of supply, which is significantly lower than the healthy level of six months. Though, there are currently 10,730 new apartment units under construction in Houston across 44 different complexes in varying parts of the city.