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New Home Buyers Being Priced Out of Houston's New Construction Market

Rent too damn high...and so are new construction prices.
Rent too damn high...and so are new construction prices.
Photo by Sarah de la Rosa

For nearly two years, the Houston residential real estate market has been booming and shows almost no sign of letting up. As a result, home inventories have been at all time lows in many parts of the city and surrounding area. It is not uncommon for a desirable home to go on the market and have multiple bids over the asking price on the first day. With the extreme demand for real estate comes not only a rise in housing costs and low inventory, but an increase in the cost of the land driving up the cost of new construction.

Making matters worse for first-time homebuyers, construction companies are all but abandoning "starter" homes that run less than $150,000 according to a recent report, and instead opting to build "move up" housing that starts around $300,000.

Of course, this is for new construction and does not include the purchase of resale homes, but with resale home inventory dramatically low, builders are rushing to add new homes to the market, just not homes most first-timers can afford.

This leaves some young families -- or those who can't afford homes in the $300k range (which is a lot of people) -- in a difficult situation because rent in Houston is also on the rise, finally seeming to fall in line with national averages. Houston's rent prices have climbed 5 percent in the last year and they show no signs of stopping.

Even with a flourishing economy, high rent and skyrocketing costs for real estate are certainly going to put a strain on anyone looking for a place to live. And it doesn't look like that prices are going anywhere but up for the foreseeable future, but I guess it beats being in a recession?


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