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.