Although real estate experts expect the Houston real estate market to fare better than it did during the previous year, experts still believe that the real estate activity will be sluggish in Houston due to a lack of consumer confidence, tight credit, and a major concern for job security. The Houston real estate is said to have hit bottom, so the only direction it can go in is up, but many real estate experts question when that will be. Many say that the real estate in Houston most likely won’t recover until the economy, financial, and employment markets in Houston improve, and after that the market will probably take several years to grow back.
According to the Houston Chronicle, real estate experts are optimistic that the Houston real estate market will improve throughout the year, faring much better than it did during 2009. However, at the same time, experts don’t expect to see as significant improvements as many might expect. Realtors believe that the demand for houses will still be sluggish, and real estate activity will still be well below peak levels. About 18,000 new homes planned for construction during 2010, about the same built during the previous year, but still 63 percent lower than the peak of 2006. Housing values are expected to remain relatively stable throughout 2010, but realtors are optimistic that the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers will help spark the real estate market and give it some of the momentum it needs to begin its recovery.
The Houston Chronicle has also reported that the commercial real estate in Houston is expected to perform much like how it did in 2009. Many landlords have related the current struggles in the commercial real estate to the problems seen during the oil bust. With approximately 90,000 jobs lost over the past year in Houston, the average office vacancy rate in Houston rose from 11.9 percent to 15.9 percent. Commercial real estate construction is also almost nonexistent. Currently, many realtors and landlords are pressuring buyers who are on the fence to stop waiting and invest now.