The recent decline in oil prices is taking its toll on the Houston housing market, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

The article cites a report from the Houston Association of Realtors that shows the sales of homes in the metropolitan area increased by 6.1% in January from a year earlier.   

Economists and other housing observers have expected Houston to lose momentum because oil prices declined by roughly 50% since last summer. Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank in Dallas, expects home-construction starts in the Houston area to decline by 11% this year.

“January was a strong month overall for the Houston housing market, but we still expect to see sales cool as a result of lower oil prices and the limited supply of homes,” said Nancy Furst, chairman of the Houston Realtors association, in a statement. “We’ve already started to see declining townhome and condominium sales.”

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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