Real Estate

Houston housing market still going strong post Harvey

One of the most affordable housing markets in country

After Hurricane Harvey swept through the Houston region, leaving many homeless, destroying thousands of homes and leaving billions in damages, however the metro’s housing market remains strong.

Not only is the Houston area still thriving, but it is one of the most affordable housing markets in the country due to the area’s potential for flooding, according to an article by Annie Correal and Conor Dougherty for The New York Times.

The article explained that even after the recent flooding the Category 4 storm brought in, nothing can stop the metro’s growth. Real estate brokerage firm Redfin reported its agents had 45 home buyers ready to purchase a home when the storm hit. After the storm, only eight buyers backed out, and tour requests immediately rebounded a week later.

From the article:

Throughout Houston proper and the surrounding suburbs, developers sprawl ever outward, paving over pastures and former wetlands and leaving nothing to absorb the water, when it comes.

“It is one of the most affordable housing markets in the country because people were able to build in places where they were likely to get flooded in the future,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, the real estate data service.

One expert explained that after the hurricane, many homeowners may choose to rebuild their homes, but at a more elevated level.

From the article:

“If you elevate your house, you’re out of the floodplain,” Mr. [Brian] Silver [a builder at BAS Concepts] said, adding that it was his practice to build new homes a foot above the elevation that FEMA expected floodwaters to rise or the high-water mark of the last storm — whichever was higher.

He predicted that after Harvey, even more homeowners would decide to demolish their flooded homes and build from scratch, but higher, and that already elevated homes would increase in value.

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