How the oil market crash impacted the Houston real estate market

Every conversation I have with Investing Architect clients or prospective clients these days eventually veers into the impact the oil market crash has had on the real estate market in general and investment opportunities in particular. With all the dramatic media coverage on the topic their expectation is one of a Buyer’s market with increased opportunities both in terms of options (inventory) and better deals (lower prices). When you look at the aggregate numbers (all price segments lumped … [Read more...]

The state of Houston’s rental market: A year over year study [UPDATED]

Note: This article was originally written on October 27, 2015 and it has been updated to reflect all data from 2015 now that it's in. To request a full copy of the report  or if you're viewing this in your email, please hit reply.  -- “Are we here yet?” A concerned Investing Architect client asked me that question out of the blue. In his email he sent a link to a BiggerPockets article (link in the footnotes) that warned about the risk of over … [Read more...]

5 Critical Real Estate Investing Lessons I learned in 2015

Today is the last day of 2015. In a few hours, the bubbly will flow and we get to write a new chapter. That’s why this is the best time to reflect back on the year that was, learn the critical investing lessons it taught us and become better investors in the process. Year in Review Real estate markets across Texas entered 2015 with a lot of momentum from the previous year but one giant “elephant in the room”. Oil prices had dropped by 50% at the end of 2014 and everyone questioned how it would … [Read more...]

The curious case of the Houston real estate bubble – An empirical analysis

The Houston real estate market has been on fire over the past 18 months. Since the start Q2 of 2013, we have experienced double digit increases in sales as well as rising prices and rents fueled by low inventories and high demand. The gallop has felt incessant. Just when you might expect that the market will take a breather for seasonal reasons or otherwise, it keeps sprinting forward. So, in this market climate, it's no wonder that the hypothesis of a Houston real estate bubble has arisen … [Read more...]

Scorching Houston rental Market in August: Record rents (+6.6%) and properties leased (+14%)

I've been absent around these parts for a couple of months because let's face it: Who wants to hear about real estate market statistics when the alternative is to carry your favorite ice cold adult beverage as you contemplate how it will take before the waves reach your  beach chair. But now that the tan is starting to fade away, it's time to get back to business. And what better way to dive right in than to take a look at the performance of Houston's rental market during the month of … [Read more...]

May rental market report: Available inventory and units leased jump as days on market shrink

The rental market data for the performance of investment grade rentals during the month of May is in and it offers some fascinating insight. First let's start with the biggest surprise: At the end of May, the available inventory of rental properties in the quality submarkets that we track jumped to 569 (+22%  over April) even as the units leased during the month of May increased 9% year over year (and 7% over last month). In my opinion this comes as a result of two factors. First, this is an … [Read more...]

Houston housing market continues upward surge: Double digit gains in sales and prices

If you were expecting the Houston housing market to take a breather in April after the strong performance in the first quarter, you'd be very disappointed with the numbers reported by the Houston Association of Realtors. Instead of a pause, the market continued its uncompromising upward surge by posting double digit year on year gains in sales and prices. Below are the fundamental stats worth knowing: Single Family homes sold: 6482 (+ 27% from last April) Single Family average price: … [Read more...]

April rental market report: Highest rents on record plus units leased soar 24%

Every year since 2007, the number of properties leased during the month of April had been 8-10% lower than the corresponding March figure. This year, the Houston rental market shattered this well-established trend. According to statistics obtained directly from the MLS for investment grade rental properties, a total of 507 single family homes were leased during the month of April. That figure represents a 24% increase year over year and an 8% jump over last month. The solid jump in units … [Read more...]

Houston housing market: Inventories Shrink Further Pushing Sales and Prices Up in March

The housing market in Houston strengthened further and posted higher sales and prices during the month of March fueled by an ever shrinking inventory of properties. As usual, I want to give you the "espresso" version of the report with the numbers you need to know: Total sales came in at 7006 properties (19% increase over March 2012) Active listings on the market were 32,704 (down 22%) Pending sales  were 4433 (up 6%) Average price was 236,195 (up 4%) Median price was 172,000 (up … [Read more...]

The more things change

File this under "you can't make this up". RealtyTrac has developed a list of the "20 best markets to purchase single family rentals" based on cap rates and cashflows. According to the study, these markets offer great opportunities for "conservative" individual investors. And let me tell you, RealtyTrac didn't disappoint. The list contains some of the perennial favorites of conservative investors like Detroit (MI), Phoenix (AZ), Las Vegas (NV). Not to mention a half dozen markets in Florida … [Read more...]

Rental market report for March – Fewer units leased at higher prices (+6.29%)

Last month I launched the Houston Investment Grade Rentals Chart - an effort to bring you more up to date and relevant information on the rental market for investment grade rentals. The March data for the market's performance has been compiled and analyzed and what follows is the essential summary of facts you should know. The rental market typically goes through a seasonal mild decrease in units leased during February, March and April right before it revs up for the summer and fall back to … [Read more...]