Economic stress index slightly above state average in Houston

Houston real estate could be affected by economic stressThe Associated Press' measurement of economic stress for the Houston area is slightly higher than the statewide average for Texas, but conditions are still better than in many areas of the country.

Last year saw a decrease in economic stress for all states except for Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Utah and Nevada, the AP said. The latter state, particularly, was still far and away the most troubled by economic conditions, with an index of 22.56, more than twice as high as Texas' 9.45.

Harris County posted a 10.02 mark in December, which represents a decline of 0.25 since the previous month, according to the AP, and unemployment in the area sank by 0.3 points to 8.3 percent. Foreclosures, however, rose slightly month-to-month, up 0.03 percent to 1.27 percent.

While the gains have been slow for economic conditions in the Houston area, they have been no less real for that, and the market for Houston homes continues to be a bright spot in an otherwise murky outlook across the U.S., according to analysts.

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