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Houston Real Estate Information

Real Estate Market Summary :

The Houston real estate market has added reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving season after logging a fifth straight month of positive home sales in October. The year-over-year increase in single-family homes sales, coupled with a rise in pending sales and continued decline in months inventory, signals a market that is benefitting from a healthy absorption of housing inventory. Adding to the positive report is an average price that achieved an all-time high for an October in Houston.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), October sales of single-family homes rose 9.1 percent versus one year earlier. All segments of the housing market, from the sub-$80,000 to the $500,000 and above, experienced growth. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 3.4 percent.

"The further we distance ourselves from last year's tax credit as we analyze the local housing data, the clearer an indication we get of market performance, and the latest numbers show a healthy sales climate for an autumn in Houston," said Carlos P. Bujosa, HAR chairman and VP at Transwestern. "As long as the Houston economy continues to strengthen with additional job growth, we can be cautiously optimistic about the state of the housing market going into the new year."

The average price of a single-family home rose 1.1 percent from October 2010 to $208,506, the highest level for an October in Houston. The October single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—was unchanged from the October high of $150,000 it reached in 2010.

Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) increased 6.0 percent year-over-year in October. Foreclosures comprised 22.0 percent of all property sales, up slightly from the 19 to 20 percent range they have maintained since May of this year. The median price of foreclosures in October was flat at $80,600.

October sales of all property types in Houston totaled 4,815, up 8.9 percent compared to October 2010. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month rose 10.9 percent to $962 million versus $867 million one year earlier.

City Info :

Houston was incorporated in 1837 under the ward system of representation. The ward designation is the progenitor of the nine current-day Houston City Council districts. Locations in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside the Interstate 610 Loop. The inside encompasses the central business district and many residential neighborhoods that predate World War II. More recently, high-density residential areas have been developed within the loop. The city's outlying areas, suburbs and enclaves are located outside of the loop. Beltway 8 encircles the city another 5 miles (8.0 km) farther out.

Though Houston is the largest city in the United States without formal zoning regulations, it has developed similarly to other Sun Belt cities because the city's land use regulations and legal covenants have played a similar role. Regulations include mandatory lot size for single-family houses and requirements that parking be available to tenants and customers. Such restrictions have had mixed results. Though some have blamed the city's low density, urban sprawl, and lack of pedestrian-friendliness on these policies, the city's land use has also been credited with having significant affordable housing, sparing Houston the worst effects of the 2008 real estate crisis.The city issued 42,697 building permits in 2008 and was ranked first in the list of healthiest housing markets for 2009.

Voters rejected efforts to have separate residential and commercial land-use districts in 1948, 1962, and 1993. Consequently, rather than a single central business district as the center of the city's employment, multiple districts have grown throughout the city in addition to downtown which include Uptown, Texas Medical Center, Midtown, Greenway Plaza, Memorial City, Energy Corridor, Westchase, and Greenspoint.

Living in Houston :

The predominant form of transportation in Houston is the automobile with 71.7 percent of residents driving alone to work This is facilitated through Houston's freeway system, comprising 739.3 miles (1,189.8 km) of freeways and expressways in a ten-county metropolitan area. However, the Texas Transportation Institute's annual Urban Mobility Report found that Houston had the fourth-worst congestion in the country with commuters spending an average of 58 hours in traffic in 2010.

Houston's highway system has a hub-and-spoke freeway structure serviced by multiple loops. The innermost loop is Interstate 610, which encircles downtown, the medical center, and many core neighborhoods with around a 10-mile (16 km) diameter. Beltway 8 and its freeway core, the Sam Houston Tollway, form the middle loop at a diameter of roughly 25 miles (40 km). A proposed highway project, State Highway 99 (Grand Parkway), would form a third loop outside of Houston. As of 2010, only two out of eleven segments of State Highway 99 have been completed. Houston is located along the route of the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway that would link Canada, the U.S. industrial Midwest, Texas, and Mexico. Other spoke freeways either planned or under construction include the Fort Bend Parkway, Hardy Toll Road, Crosby Freeway, and the future Alvin Freeway.

Houston's freeway system is monitored by Houston TranStar—a partnership of four government agencies that are responsible for providing transportation and emergency management services to the region. Houston TranStar was the first center in the nation to combine transportation and emergency management centers, and the first to bring four agencies (Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, and the City of Houston) together to share their resources.

Home Just Sold in Houston :

Sports Teams :

_ American Football: Oilers, Texans, Gamblers, Terror/Thunderbears
_ Baseball: Buffaloes (Buffs), Houston Eagles
_ Basketball: Mavericks, Angels, Comets
_ Hockey: Skippers, Huskies, Apollos, Aeros
_ Soccer: Stars, Hurricane, Summit, Dynamos, Hotshots. Force, Hurricanes, Hotshots, Tornados

Interesting Fact :

Houston residents eat out more than residents in other U.S. cities. And why shouldn't they with over 11,000 restaurants?

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