Improving Job Market Fuels Houston Housing Boom
"Houston's economy is bolstering the region's new-home market. Areawide, builders sold 4,990 homes during the first three months of 2012. That's up 34% over the same period a year earlier, according to consulting firm Metrostudy.
"At the core, it's jobs, jobs, jobs," said David Jarvis, director of Metrostudy in Houston. "It's put tremendous pressure on demand for housing."
Even if they're not all buying, more consumers are out shopping. In March, builders saw 17,681 potential homebuyers pass through new-home sales offices - a 21% improvement over the same period last year and the highest traffic count for a single month since 2008.
The number of homes under construction is as high as it was in early 2010 when the tax credit was encouraging consumers to become homeowners. And inventory is back to pre-downturn levels. Builders had 1,791 homes under construction in March, 20% more than the same month last year."