Houston’s economy is largely tied to the oil industry, and despite the drop in oil prices the overall economy is doing well. Houston is the global capital of oil field technology, and the 55 percent drop in oil prices from a year ago is a concern for the local economy. Job growth has been flat but it is not seen as a negative because for the past several months, job growth has been close to all time highs.
July of this year was a good month for Houston’s housing market. Single family home sales reached 8,147 which was a record high for volume in one month, and pending sales for the same month were 7,959 which is up over four percent from the same time last year. Houston’s housing inventory is good but below the national average. Currently Houston’s housing inventory will last 3.4 months whereas the national average is at five months.
The commercial real estate market is also doing well and many investors are taking advantage of Houston’s good economy and job market. Haidar Barbouti has been investing in shopping centers, office buildings, condominiums and land in the Houston market since 1986. Haider is a Columbia University educated commercial real estate investor who is the owner of highland Village Shopping Center in Houston that he acquired in 1990. Highlands is an upscale shopping center that has stores such as Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and many fine dining restaurants. Houston’s healthy job market and economy has provided individuals and families with the income to be able to shop at these types of businesses.
Houston’s real estate market continues to improve for home buyers and investors such as Haidar Barbouti. Although Houston is largely dependent on the jobs and revenue created by the oil industry, its economy is becoming more diverse with a growing healthcare and technology industry. The decline in oil prices may still have an effect on the job and real estate markets but for now, Houston can enjoy having one of the best local economies in the U.S.