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A good year for real estate

Good news.

Area housing prices will rise this year amid a strong local economy and a limited supply, economist Ted C. Jones said Tuesday at an annual symposium on real estate and the economy.

Apartment rents could go up as much as 10 percent, which will encourage more people to become homeowners. The median price of a house will rise about 3 percent, Jones, chief economist for Stewart Title Guaranty Co., told an audience attending a luncheon of the Hobby Center for Public Policy’s Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston.

“This market is back,” he said. “It’s vibrant.”


Jones said new jobs in Houston will continue to come from the energy, health care, manufacturing and transportation sectors, but he was conservative in his projection for 2012. He estimated that area employers will create 70,400 jobs this year and 72,400 in 2013.

“The good news is we could probably exceed that,” he said.

The projections are below the gain of 79,300 jobs the Texas Workforce Commission reported for 2011, which Jones said reflected his concern that European distress could cut demand for oil.

Construction jobs, he said, will get a boost over the next couple of years as developers resume big commercial real estate projects they put on hold during the recession.

I know of at least one big project that’s set to kick off this year. Maybe there’s finally hope for The Stables and the Robinson Warehouse. This is good news for all of the taxing entities within the “area”, which as always I presume is the 10-county H-GAC region. Obviously, it’ll be better for some of them than for others, but there should be enough rising prices and more construction to spread it around. Mayor Parker should be releasing the next budget for the city soon, so we’ll have a better idea then how things are looking here. Prime Property has more.

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