Investing in Texas real estate has pretty much been a no-brainer. Since 2010, the population grew by 3.5 million, a million more than either Florida or California. That translates into one and a half million new homes.
Almost 2 million of those people came from elsewhere, attracted by jobs and by reasonable home prices. Those attractions are still there – look at the rate of job growth in the three big markets this past year, close to 4%. That’s twice the national average.
And even though home prices rose steadily in recent years, they’re still below $300,000 almost everywhere. Compare that with the average home price in Seattle – over $500,000 – or San Francisco – more than $1 million.
It hasn’t been all peaches and cream, though. Shale oil development produced booms and busts in a number of markets. And many remain tied too closely to oil prices – jobs can come and go according to what happens in Saudi Arabia or Russia. And a lot of the new jobs and development have been concentrated in the big markets, a trend we see everywhere in the country.
So, the economic prospects of all Texas markets – and therefore how best to invest in each one – aren’t the same. The way I see it, the 15 markets we show in the table from Local Market Monitor Inc. can be divided into three categories.