Houston Metro

Houston Houston, Texas

About the Community of Houston

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the 4th-largest city in the USA. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of over 2.1 million people within a land area of 599.6 square miles (1,553 km). Houston is the seat of Harris County, and its metropolitan area is the 5th-largest in the U.S., with over 6 million people. Houston is home to major sports teams like the NFL Houston Texans and NBA Houston Rockets. The real estate market continues to be robust in the Houston area.

Houston Economy

Houston’s economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It is also leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Compared to the rest of the country, Houston’s cost of living is 11.10% Lower than the U.S. average. The unemployment rate in Houston is 7.5 percent (U.S. avg. is 8.60%). Recent job growth is Positive. Houston jobs have Increased by 1.93 percent. Houston, TX,sales tax rate is 8.25%. Income tax is 0.00%. The income per capita is $26,792, which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $48,322.

Houston leaders are working to attract new business development by using Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZs). TIRZs help finance the cost of redevelopment and encourage development in an area that would otherwise not attract sufficient market development in a timely manner. Taxes attributable to new improvements (tax increments) are set-aside in a fund to finance public improvements within the boundaries of the zone. The state of Texas provides even further economic stimulus through technology funds, enterprise zones, enterprise funds, and skill development funds.

Houston Education

Houston public schools spend $4,620 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $5,691. There are about 15.8 students per teacher in Houston. . On average, the public school district that covers Houston is close to the state average in quality.

Housing in Houston

The median home value in Houston, TX, is $144,000. Home appreciation is 3.71% over the last year. The median age of Houston, TX, real estate is 34 years. Renters make up 47.88% of the Houston, TX, population. 12.32% of houses and apartments in Houston, TX, are unoccupied (vacancy rate).

MLS Report for March 2014- (April 9, 2014) — If there’s a depleted supply of homes for sale in Houston, you wouldn’t know it from the market’s new monthly home sales figures. March brought about the 34th consecutive month of positive home sales, despite the record low 2.6-month supply of inventory that has prevailed throughout 2014. According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), home sales rose 3.7 percent year-over-year, with March single-family home sales totaling 5,971. That is the largest one-month sales volume recorded since last September. The supply of homes first reached 2.6 months of inventory in December 2013 and has held steady ever since. However, it is down from the 3.5-month supply in March 2013 and significantly lower than the national supply of 5.2 months of inventory. The average price of a single-family home increased 11.0 percent year-over-year to $261,329. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—climbed 9.8 percent to $189,900. Both figures represent the highest prices Houston has ever seen in a March.

Single-family homes priced from $250,000 through the millions saw the greatest sales activity and accounted for the latest jump in prices. Homes priced at $150,000 and below experienced declines.
“Houston home sales rose again in March, with most of the buying taking place at the higher end of the market,” said HAR Chair Chaille Ralph with Heritage Texas Properties. “We’ve also seen ongoing strength in the leasing market, which illustrates that many consumers continue to take advantage of available lease property. We are happy that there hasn’t been any further decline in the local supply of homes and are hopeful that new construction and seasonal spring listings will help our inventory grow.”

Foreclosure property sales reported in the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) continued their freefall, dropping 45.3 percent compared to March 2013. Foreclosures now comprise 6.8 percent of all property sales, down from a 12.3 percent share a year earlier. The median price of foreclosures rose 8.7 percent to $93,500.

March sales of all property types totaled 7,277, a 4.3-percent increase over the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold rose 15.3 percent to $1.8 billion versus $1.6 billion a year earlier.

Houston History

Houston was founded in 1836 on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen’s Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had commanded and won at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city’s population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Culture in Houston

The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.