Roger Martin and Life in the Loop

 

Sept. 1, 2007

Update on the Houston Economy

Houston Economic Update by the Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has just issues this update on the Houston economy and its real estate market...

"... Houston’s existing-home market is holding up better than many other markets across the U.S., its health underpinned by fewer past excesses than others and solid continued job growth. July sales were up 1 percent over July of last year, although inventories were up 12 percent. The weakest part of the market is homes priced under $150,000, suggesting that tighter lending standards primarily are slowing entry-level purchases. Postings and foreclosures are significantly higher for Harris County, and the rate at which postings are being foreclosed is also rising.

The value of new residential permits issued by the city of Houston is up 8 percent year to date but down 14 percent in July when compared with a year earlier..."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, September 2007

To read the full article, click here.  And yes, these tighter lending standards are affecting the Houston economy.  We real estate professionals are dealing with those restrictions in all price ranges, not just the entry-level homes.

Roger Martin

 

Aug. 8, 2007

America's Most Expensive Commutes

Commuting in HoustonForbes.com has just ranked Houston as having one of America's Most Expensive Commutes...

"It's often said that the trip to work can kill you.  But if you live in Houston, what really takes a beating is your wallet.

"There, the average commuter spends 20.9% of his annual household costs on getting to work...

"... Robert Puentes, a metroplitan policy fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., says, 'In Houston, the cost of transportation is the No.1 household expense, above shelter.'

"But that's in part because Houstonians spend a lower than average proportion of their take-home pay on housing.

"And that's the trade-off.

"The percent of household income Houstonians spend on transportation may be the highest in the country, but when combined with the amount residents spend on housing expenses, Houston's aggregate cost ranks them 14th, with the composite cost equaling 52% of household income.

"Transit costs are high because Houston has few policies hindering sprawl, which in turn allows for cheaper housing..."

Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, August 8, 2007

To read the full article, click here.  Houstonians will all agree that we spend waaaaay too much time in our cars.  As import as the expense of that commuting is, the time it takes is also costly.  When I moved my family from the suburbs into West University Place, I was delighted to discover just how much time (and money) I saved without the expensive commutes.  And with nearby community resources like great parks and museums, we were able to put that saved time and money to really good use.  Try it!  You'll like it!

Roger Martin

 

Aug. 6, 2007

Top Urban Enclaves - West University Place

Houston named Top Urban Enclave by Forbes.comWest University Place has been named one of the "Top Urban Enclaves" according to Forbes.com...

"... Call it an urban suburb – a big-city next-door neighbor that has rejected high-rise development and highways and maintained a small-town feel without the nightmarish commute of the average bedroom community…

"Contained within the Houston city limits and near Rice University, West University Place originally attracted upscale residents for its favorable tax policies.  Today, the tax exceptions are no longer, but the tree-filled, affluent bedroom community is one of the most prized addresses in the Houston area.  Prices start at around $500,000 and top off in the $3 million to $4 million range ..."

Matt Woolsey, www.Forbes.com, August 6, 2007

To view the full article, click here.

Yes, that's us here in West University Place - an oasis of green lawns and mature oak trees surrounded by an increasingly-urban metropolis.  And we love our small-town atomosphere!

June 1, 2007

Houston Housing Market - An Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Housing Update by the Federal Reserve BankThe Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas issued the following update on the Houston housing market ...

June 2007

"A slower U.S. economy and a pause in domestic drilling have taken the pressure off the Houston economic expansion, with growth ebbing across the board in the first half of 2007. Despite slower growth, however, labor markets remain extremely tight for workers at every skill level, from scientists and engineers to entry-level salespeople. The local unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2000. Some real estate markets, such as office and industrial, are still trying to catch up with past growth...

"Houston-area home sales hit a plateau in the first half of 2007. Existing-home sales through May are basically flat compared with the first five months of 2006. New-home sales were down early in the year, but sales had been unsustainably high 12 months earlier. Both new and used markets show particular weakness in sales of lower-priced homes, suggesting that the subprime issue may be taking a toll locally..."

To read the full article, click here.

May 6, 2007

Roger Martin Properties - Fondue Feast!

Roger Martin Properties - a Fondue FeastMay 6, 2007

“Roger and Ann Martin of Roger Martin Properties held a cheesy gathering at the Melting Pot on Westheimer with a fondue feast in celebration of their outstanding sucess in residential sales during the first quarter 2007.  Joining in the festivities in addition to the Martins were Christie Rogers, Julie Deering, Nadia Mackey, Jane Jurgens, Blaine Hull, Alexa Burrow, Jo Anna Ide, Barry McCarty, Rachel Solbach, and SheRanda Samuel.”

Jude Patronella

Houston Chronicle

Feb. 1, 2007

Houston Housing Market - an Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Economic Update from the Federal ReserveHere is the lastest Houston housing update from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ...

February 2007

"The Houston housing market has cooled in recent months from the torrid pace of early 2006, but existing home sales were still solid in January, at 8.1 percent above the year earlier. New home sales have flattened out, as some national builders struggle with balance sheet problems in markets outside Houston. Single-family permits peaked earlier than usual last year—in May—and are down 10.9 percent from January 2006..."

To read the full article, click here.

Jan. 1, 2007

Houston Housing Market - an Update by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Houston Housing Market by the Federal Reserve Bank of DallasThe Federal Reserve Bank of Houston had this to say about the Houston housing market ...

January 2007

"All the data aren’t in yet, but Houston can look back at very successful economic performance in 2006...

"Existing-home sales have been very strong, up 9.8 percent since November 2005, but with a median price increase of only 1.4 percent. Based on new permits, the National Association of Realtors ranked Houston the third-fastest-growing new-home market in the U.S. in 2006, behind only Atlanta and Phoenix."

To read the full article, click here.

Jan. 1, 2007

Jane Jurgens - HAR Top Producer 4th Quarter 2006

Jane Jurgens has been named a Top Producer

The Houston Association of Realtors has named Jane Jurgens a Top Producer for the 4th quarter of 2006.  Jane is recognized for her work with buyers.  Congratulations Jane!

Roger Martin

Jan. 1, 2007

Jo Anna Ide - 2006 HAR Top Producer

JoAnna Ide, Broker Associate with Roger Martin PropertiesThe Houston Association of Realtors has named Jo Anna Ide a Top Producer for 2006.  Jo Anna is recognized for her work with buyers.

Well done, Jo Anna Ide!

Roger Martin

Dec. 31, 2006

Roger Martin - 2006 HAR Top Producer - Sellers

Roger Martin - Roger Martin Properties

Thanks to the Houston Association of Realtors, which has named me one of their 2006 Top Producers for my work with real estate sellers.  And kudos to my wonderful clients who made this award possible!

Roger Martin