Roger Martin and Life in the Loop


Feb. 26, 2008

Housing Market Deemed Strong in Inner City

 Inner City Real Estate MarketI was recently interviewed by the, who compared our local housing market to the national real estate conditions.  Here is an excerpt...

Houston’s inner city housing market continues to be robust despite recent reports of a decline in overall sales and an increase in the number of days on the market, experts said….

'The sharp downturns in the housing market detailed in the media are national,' said Roger Martin of Roger Martin Properties, which deals with property in West University Place. He agreed that the growth in the housing market is based on a good economy, and that the market is ‘not growing insanely.’

By Leslie Contreras,, February 26, 2008

Thanks for the vote of confidence in our local housing market!

Roger Martin

Feb. 13, 2008

West University Named Blue-Chip Neighborhood

West U is Blue Chip Neighborhood West University has just been named a Blue-Chip Neighborhood by  The published and article in response, citing the Forbes article and quoting me.  Here is an excerpt...

Forbes magazine has named West University Place one of the premier blue-chip real estate investment areas in the nation.

The magazine defined blue-chip markets by examining home appreciation values and median house values since 1990 and choosing properties that have held on to and increased in value over the last 17 years.

Based on data from, a real estate firm that tracks home appreciation information, West University Place posted a price [increase] of 194 percent since 1990, with the median home value at $663,740.

The city placed among Forbes’ list of 'well-established spots' with Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, University Park in Dallas and communities in Chicago and New York.

The pegging of the neighborhood among the elite was no surprise to longtime real estate agent Roger Martin, of Roger Martin Properties.

'The steady growth is based on a 'good, solid economy in Houston,' he said, including strong industries in the Medical Center, the port of Houston, and the oil sector.  Also, he said, the limited amount of property available – roughly about 6,200 homes total – is a fundamental factor in making the market strong.

But most of all, he said, it is the city itself that draws buyers.  'We have a good city, we have good schools within our area,' Martin said.  'It’s a pleasant place to live.  All these things go to make a solid investment...'"

Leslie Contreras,  West University Examiner,, February 13, 2008

Thank you Leslie, for expanding on the Forbes article.  We really are a Blue-Chip Neighborhood -- and a great place to live!

Feb. 7, 2008

Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters names Houston Best City for Bargain House HuntersHouston has just been named one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by  Here's a quote from the recent article...

"... Compared to housing prices in other cities, Houston real estate has always been a bargain, which is part of why the population has expanded so much since 2000.  Jobs are being added to the books at the sixth fastest rate of cities measured, and while the city has had more than a few foreclosures, especially in Harris County, it hasn’t taken a huge overall hit.  Based on inventory levels and construction projects in the works, buyers still have good standing to negotiate price..."

From "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters", by Matt Woolsey,, February 7, 2008

While we Houstonians sometime bemoan our lack of scenery, our flat topography has allowed the city to expand and grow without barriers.  That factor, together with a strong economy, has kept housing prices reasonable.  So thank you, Forbes, for naming us one of the "Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters"!

Roger Martin

Feb. 1, 2008

Update on the Houston Economy

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports that the Houston economy is beginning to feel the effects of the national housing crisis.  New construction is down and foreclosures are up...

"Is Houston feeling the strain of the U.S. slowdown? It is not apparent yet in the employment data, but the clearest effect is spillover from the U.S. housing downturn. Both the number of single-family permits and existing home sales are down sharply, and foreclosures are rising...

"The bottom rungs of the Houston housing market continue to lag, with overall permits for new single-family construction down 27 percent from January 2007, and existing homes sales down 14 percent. The bust in the subprime market and loss of those potential customers triggered the local slowdown last summer, and year-to-date foreclosures were up 16 percent in the first two month of 2008 compared with last year..."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, February 2008

The Houston economy has been lucky to avoid these real estate woes so far, but our housing market has definitely slowed recently, particularly for entry-level homes on the edges of the city.

Roger Martin

Jan. 19, 2008

Radio Interview with Roger Martin

Roger's Radio InterviewJanuary 19, 2008

Here I am, discussing Houston real estate live on the radio with Steve Levine of Houston Real Estate Today on CNN 650. The other guest was my friend Tom Laurenzo, VP of urbanFINANCIAL. Tom is my go-to guy when I need a Spanish-speaking loan officer.

To see a video of the interview, click here.

Roger Martin


Jan. 7, 2008

Jo Anna Ide - Realtor of the Week

JoAnna Ide, Broker Associate with Roger Martin Properties

Congratulations to Jo Anna Ide, who has been named REALTOR OF THE WEEK by the Houston Chronicle.  The article is included below...

Education foundation of Realtor’s career     

By JUDE PATRONELLA, Homes Correspondent

Having made her mark as an educator who became principal of West University Elementary School, Jo Anna Ide went on to immerse herself in another career as a real estate broker in association with Roger Martin Properties.

“I have loved houses since I was a little girl. I can remember getting my mother to take me out to look at homes for sale,” said Ide, a native Texan from Texarkana who moved to the Bayou City to attend the University of Houston – where she was a cheerleader, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, and a doctorate in business administration.

While she was principal, Ide would go out into the community to talk with people about activities and plans for the school, generating a lot of interest from business owners in support of the school. Through the effort she got to know Roger Martin, the broker/owner of Roger Martin Properties, who worked as a community partner for West University Elementary and often donated computers and other necessities for students.

After working on numerous projects with Ide for a number of years, Martin witnessed the manner in which she interacted with people, and recognized her potential for becoming a successful Realtor. He suggested that someday she should consider a real estate career.

Eventually, Ide followed through with his advice and became licensed as a Texas real estate agent eight years ago. She went on to become a leading Realtor with Roger Martin Properties and attained a real estate broker’s license and the Graduate Realtor Institute and Accredited Buyer Representative designations.

“It was very hard leaving my job as a principal, but I had done it a long time. However, the transition was easy because my experience of working with parents and teachers proved to be beneficial in my new career,” Ide said, who quickly built a large real estate practice with referrals from people she previously worked with and has known through various associations.

Ide also developed a successful practice by offering the best of service she could provide. Realizing that whatever she does, Ide wanted to be knowledgeable as possible and for that reason, she pursued an advanced continuing education in real estate . . . “for a better understanding of my profession, especially the legal aspects for both buyer and seller clients.”

Being an educator, Ide feels it is very important to stay up to date with everything going on in real estate. In line with that motivation, Ide’s business has flourished, earning her recognition as a top producing Realtor in residential sales from Roger Martin Properties, the Houston Chronicle’s Sold On Your Realtor contest and the Houston Association of Realtors.

In addition to staying abreast of the real estate industry, Ide keeps a close watch on trends and values in the great Houston housing market. She promotes listings in the city’s close-in residential communities, including River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Bellaire, Southampton and the Rice/Medical Center area.

Ide also works with buyers in any area they choose to live, having sold homes in Kemah, Pearland, Clear Lake and other outlying areas.

Ide markets her listings through the advertising programs available at Roger Martin Properties, which covers publications, brochures, mail-outs and Internet Web sites. She also conducts Realtor and public open houses, and has met and sold numerous homes to people who have stopped by to view a property she has listed and held open for the public.

“I go through every single aspect in real estate transactions with my clients, from the beginning to the end. I have helped them with attaining or cancelling service from utility companies, insurance and repair referrals, and anything else they need. I’ve also watered my clients’ lawns, and taken care of their children, dogs and cats because I enjoy helping in any way possible,” Ide said.

Well done, Jo Anna Ide!

Roger Martin

Dec. 7, 2007

Best Blue Chip Real Estate - West University Place

West U is Blue Chip Real has just named West University Place one of the "Best Blue Chip Real Estate Investments"!

West University Place

Median Home Sale Price:  $663,740

Price Growth Since 1990:  194%

… West University Place, a smaller city within Houston, originally chose to remain separate from the big city for tax purposes, and has its own city council, postal system and school system.  West U is effectively an urban suburb, and has the feel of a place outside the city limits.  In other words, a very desirable place to live.  Texas is home to some of the nation’s most affordable markets, yet West U has experienced extremely potent price growth since 1990.

Matt Woolsey,, December 7, 2007

To read the full article, click here.

Thank you Forbes, for confirming what we Realtors have known all along!  West University Place is a great neighborhood with strong appreciation in real estate values... making us one of the "Best Blue Chip Real Estate Investments" in the country!

Nov. 14, 2007

Best Places to Retire - by has ranked Houston as one of the best places to retire

Houston has been ranked as one of the best places to retire by

"Houston has eclipsed stalwarts such as Miami, Tucson, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in its ability to attract older residents. The cheap cost of living and lower-than-average tax burden have something to do with it, but so does the city's arts and leisure facilities, which ranked No. 18 in the country."

Matt Woolsey,, November 13, 2007

To read the full article, click here.

Nov. 7, 2007

Houston - Most Affordable Place to Live Well -- by has named Houston the Most Affordable Place to Live has ranked Houston the Most Affordable Place to Live Well in the entire United States.  Check out this article...

November 6, 2007

One of the country's fastest-growing cities, Houston has added nearly 1 million new people since 2000.  Housing affordability and a strong job market seem enought ot lure people from all over the country. The city has invested millions over the last five years in expanding infrastructure by adding trains, bolstering the downtown business district and funding the arts, whihc has helped to centralize -- to an extent--the city, which has always been more famous for sprawl and oil  It also helps that on an everyday cost basis, among the cities we studied, Houston is the cheapest place to live."

By Matt Woolsey,

Houston has many sterling qualities, and it is nice to be recognized for them!  To read the full article, click here.

Roger Martin

Nov. 1, 2007

Houston Economy - Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe strength of the Houston economy has kept us going for a year after the rest of the nation slipped into recession.  However, while real estate is local, lending is not.  And it is becoming increasingly difficult to finance home sales in Houston.  Here is what the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has to say...

November 2007

"Houston never experienced the excessive price appreciation that marked the national housing downturn’s early stages. But not even surging job growth has held off the loss of subprime and other high-interest rate lending. Existing-home sales fell 8.6 percent in October compared with October 2006, after a September tumble of 16.7 percent. New home sales were off 41 percent in September, with traffic off 18 percent. Builders have reacted quickly, and new home inventories are now below last year’s levels..."

Our hope remains that, without the hyper-inflated real estate markets seen elsewhere in the country, the Houston economy will weather this storm as well.

Roger Martin