Archives for September 2012

Houston hotel industry rebounds

Houston hotels are set to return to pre-recession productivity by the end of the year.When cities have a large presence of hotels, this is often an indicator of a strong economy. Hotels allow for travelers from across the world to visit a city for business or pleasure, and a new report indicates the Houston hotel industry is experiencing a period of notable growth.Houston hotels are expected to fill rooms at increased costs in the coming years, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle. By the end of 2012, hotels occupancy rates downtown, Galleria/Greenway, Texas Medical Center and Katy Freeway/Westchase could return to pre-recession levels.”Houston is getting ready to embark upon another real strong growth period,” PKF Consulting's Randy McCaslin told the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston, according to the news source.The national hotel industry took a huge hit in recent years following economic hardship, but the industry in Houston is recovering much quicker than hotels throughout the rest of the country.Taking this as an indicator of an improving economy, local residents should consider making the transition to homeownership in the near future. Houston home prices have increased significantly so far this year and are expected to continue doing so in the coming months.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston ranked one of the best cities in America

Houston is a hot destination for households from across the country.Houston recently ranked near the top of the list of the best cities in the country. Based on factors such as nightlife and park systems, the survey did not even account for the area's strong housing market, which may have pushed the city even higher in the rankings.Overall, Houston was named the 22nd best city in the country, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Meanwhile, it was rated second-best in the Lone Star State, just behind Austin.Houston's nightlife was specifically recognized, as the city has 549 bars and more than 5,500 restaurants for residents to choose from, the report said. In addition, the city's hosts many professional sports teams in leagues ranging from the NFL to the MLB.Further, the city also has 17 colleges, the report said. As a result, nearly 6.6 percent of residents hold a graduate degree, which is a major factor feeding into the local economy.Houston is a hot destination for households from across the country. Houston real estate continues to outperform national averages and could be a great investment for prospective buyers.???? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Multimillion-dollar recreation area coming to Spring area

A $5.5 million project to build a 10-acre skate park is coming to the Spring area.Houston is a great city for a number of reasons. The housing market is strong, the economy offers numerous job opportunities and it can be a great place to raise children.To show how great the metropolitan areas is for raising a family, the Houston City Council recently approved a $5.5 million project to build a 10-acre skate park and recreational area. With an average annual temperature that allows for year-round outdoor activities, homebuyers should consider buying a home close to this Spring-area attraction.?”It's not inexpensive, so we had to make sure the funding was secured,” Mayor Annise Parker told the Houston Chronicle. “I wanted to make sure the maintenance was secured. We want it to be a monitored facility so it's safe. All those elements are in place.”The project is set to break ground at the end of 2012. Once complete, it could have a positive impact on surrounding Spring home prices. Purchasing a home in the local market prior to the grand opening could give buyers an opportunity to see property values surge in the near future. Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Falling mortgage rates make homeownership affordable

Houston area buyers should consider locking in a mortgage rates now, just in case they start to pick up in the near future.Although average Houston home prices increased significantly in August, falling mortgage rates could make the prospect of buying a home in the city much more affordable.Last month, the average price for a single-family home spiked 4 percent from a year earlier to $224,464, according to a report from the Houston Association of Realtors. Experts claim this is the result of a healthy local economy and a dwindling foreclosure rate well below the national average.Average fixed mortgage rates have hovered below 4 percent for all but one week so far this year. Most recently, during the week ending September 27, the average rate for a 30-year FRM dipped to 3.4 percent, according to a report from Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, the 15-year FRMs averaged 2.73 percent. These were records low for both rates.”Fixed mortgage rates continued to decline this week, largely due to the Federal Reserve's purchases of mortgage securities, and should support an already improving housing market,” said Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft.Houston area buyers should consider locking in a mortgage rates now, just in case they start to pick up in the near future.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston property taxes could stay the same

The current property tax rate is 63.9 cents per $100 of assessed value of a home.A number of Houston households continue to worry how they plan to pay for additional housing expenses, including property taxes, but these families can rest easy.A recent proposal from the Houston City Council plans to keep local property taxes unchanged for the next year, the Houston Chronicle reports. Although this tax is expected to be the same, local legislators are still examining sales taxes and certain fees and fines which may be changed in order to generate additional revenue.The current property tax rate is 63.9 cents per $100 of assessed value of a home. With the rate unchanged, this is expected to generate $884 million in local tax revenue during the next 12 months.?Since Houston home prices appreciated significantly during the month of August, this tax rate could provide more revenue than expected. Last month, average home prices increased 4 percent to $224,464, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. This marked the 15th consecutive month of annual gains.Local residents hoping to make the transition to homeownership should make the move sooner rather than later. As the housing market enters the latter half of 2012, a slowdown in activity may take place. Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston motorways set to improve

Houston currently has some of the worst traffic in the state, but this could quickly change.A report earlier this year indicated that Houston has some of the worst traffic in the Lone Star State, but a major transportation project could take the pressure off of local roadways much sooner than expected.The Texas Department of Transportation recently announced that the U.S. 290 updates taking place in and around Houston could be completed up to 20 years ahead of schedule.”This is a huge win for Texas drivers,” said TxDOT executive director Phil Wilson. “Not only will sections of this road be ready 20 years ahead of schedule, they could save drivers 20 minutes in commute time during peak hours on US 290 from IH 610 to SH 99.”Improved motorways is also a promising sign for local businesses, as it could allow them to transport goods and materials more efficiently. Houston's economy escaped relatively unscathed following the recent recession, and it continues to attract households looking to improve their lives from across the country.??Not only has this trend bolstered the local economy, but Houston real estate has also benefitted. In fact, during the month of August, Houston home prices appreciated 4 percent on an annual basis, pushing average home prices well above the national average.? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

More borrowers stay on top of mortgage payments

The national mortgage delinquency rate plummeted 10.6 percent last month.As a greater number of borrowers got a handle on their finances in August, mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates declined significantly. This improvement could result in more relaxed lending standards, making it easier for Houston-based homebuyers to qualify for mortgages.The national mortgage delinquency rate plummeted 10.6 percent last month from August 2011, according to a report from Lender Processing Services. As a result, just 6.87 percent of borrowers were behind on payments. While this may still seem like a notable amount, it was a 30 percent decline from its peak at the beginning of 2010.Meanwhile, foreclosure activity also improved last month, the report said. The nation's pre-foreclosure inventory thinned 2 percent on an annual basis, which could be an indicator that homeowners are capitalizing on record low mortgage rates and government initiatives to avoid foreclosure.Although many parts of the country continue to struggle with foreclosure, activity in Harris County has been muted. At the end of August, one in every 907 Houston homes were in some stage of the process, according to RealtyTrac. This is compared to a national average of one in every 681.??? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

13 of America’s richest reside in Houston

Thirteen of the richest people in the country reside in Houston.Much of the success experienced in local economies and housing markets can be attributed to the residents who live there, and when it comes to Houston, this could certainly be the case.According to Forbes Magazine, 13 of the richest people in the country reside in Houston, and they all have a net worth greater than $1 billion. The city's richest resident is Kinder Morgan Inc. chairman Richard Kinder, with a net worth of $9.4 billion. This was enough to put land him at the number 34 spot on the overall list.? This high presence of wealth is not surprising. After all, Houston currently has one of the strongest housing markets and local economies in the country. These factors have made investing in Houston real estate an appealing prospect for local residents and buyers from across the country.As a result of this growing interest, single-family home prices averaged $224,464 during the month of August, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, activity among distressed properties declined significantly during the same period, which could be representative of growing household financial stability in the area.?Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston median incomes rise, along with poverty levels

Last month, average single-family home prices rose 4 percent to $224,464.Although Houston real estate and the local economy have continued to outperform national averages, the city has experienced a major rift between income levels during recent years.According to data from the Census Bureau, Houston's poverty rate edged higher during the course of 2011, up 1 percent from a year earlier. Despite growth at the lower end of the income spectrum, median household incomes actually increased $542 during the same period to $42,877.Even though Houston has had a thriving economy while many other areas continue to struggle, disparity between job creation is believed to be a major driver behind this development.”It's a new kind of economy that produces good jobs for the highly skilled and low-pay jobs, no-benefits jobs, for the unskilled. And there are few jobs in between,” Rice University sociology professor Stephen Klineberg told the Houston Chronicle.?Last month, average single-family home prices rose 4 percent to $224,464, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. While some households might think this is out of their price ranges, average fixed mortgage rates recently dropped back to all-time lows, making the prospect of purchasing a home much more affordable.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

Houston housing supply can’t keep up with demand

Last month, an estimated 6,600 properties were sold throughout Harris County.Although Houston homes continue to outperform national real estate averages, activity has been limited by a thinning property inventory.In August, the Houston housing supply hit a 10-year low, according to data from the Houston Association of Realtors. In fact, by the end of the month, the local marketplace only had a 4.9-month supply.?”There's just a lot more demand than supply right now,” local real estate expert Stephanie Sauer told the Houston Chronicle.Last month, an estimated 6,600 properties were sold throughout Harris County, the HAR report said. This was a 20 percent surge from a year earlier and the largest one-month volume recorded in more than five years.?However, this trend has proved to be a double-edged sword. Although fewer homes on the market leaves buyers with limited options, they inevitably become more competitive with one another, and this can drive prices even higher.Prospective buyers in the Houston-area may want to start their home search sooner, rather than later. Not only will this give them more time to find the home of their dreams in a thinning inventory, but they may also be able to lock in interest rates near record lows. Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.

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