The Houston metropolitan area grows by about 400 people a day and builds 40,000 housing units a year, making it the nation’s largest new-housing market, with 7 percent of residential construction. With light regulation and a civic model tied to growth, it has kept housing prices low by building everywhere and anywhere, and fast.
And even after Hurricane Harvey revealed the city’s vulnerability to catastrophic flooding, leaving thousands displaced and still living in shelters, people here are betting that nothing can stop Houston’s continued growth.For now, buyers and sellers are trying to figure out how prices have changed after the flood.
At the same time, many economists are forecasting that the price of undamaged homes will rise as demand outstrips supply. Early estimates suggest that tens of thousands of homes were damaged, and developers are worried about labor shortages as repairs get priority over new construction.
But as insurance and government money comes in, developers and real estate agents are betting that the area will quickly clear the backlog and continue along its normal trajectory of adding homes and people.
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.
Houstonians lose track of how many times they’ve been flooded. They repeatedly renovate or rebuild on elevated platforms and say they will go higher the next time if they have to. Read the full story and the stories of Houstonians that are making the most of this awful situation in the original article from The New York Times.
If you’re looking for advice on what to do after Harvey, let the experts at See Tim Sell help. Our agents are here for you and have solutions to get you though this tough time.