Jan 15 2020

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Houston Real Estate Market: 2018 Forecast 7 Things To Look Forward To (Or Fear) In 2018

We took a deep dive into the home sales trends of the past two decades to come up with 7 predictions that should shape (for better or worse) the 2018 Houston real estate market.

We don’t have a crystal ball (but that doesn’t stop us from trying!). Here are our 7 big predictions for the Houston real estate market in 2018, based on the most recent data and trends:

See our disclaimers and disclosures at the bottom of this article. All predictions are best guesses.

For a custom home value report to see how your neighborhood is trending or for interesting Houston homes for sale, contact Paige Martin, the #1 Individual Agent with Keller Williams in the State of Texas.

“Paige Martin is the best Realtor. She is highly experienced and very knowledgeable. She made our buying experience an enjoyable one, not only for us, but for our daughter, son-in-law and several of our friends. We have bought and sold many houses, and Paige has been the best realtor we have ever worked with. We highly recommend her.”

1. In 2018, Houston’s real estate market eclipses the 2015 peak.

In addition, the market came within 3% of the 2015 peak (based on both median sales price & sale price per square foot).

Why is the Houston real estate market growing so much? Job growth!

Source: Greater Houston Partnership, Employment Forecast 2018

The forecast for 2018 includes even stronger job growth thanks to the large pricing gains in the oil & gas sector over the past 6 months.

Source: Greater Houston Partnership, Talking Points Q4 2017

We believe oil & gas prices will remain positive, job growth remains strong and brings with it a record real estate year for Houston, Texas.

2. Tax reform benefits all segments of Houston’s real estate market.

This is one of our more controversial predictions as it relates to the luxury market. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) lobbied quite strongly against the $10,000 property tax cap.

As it relates to the general Houston real estate market, we believe there are three major factors at play—all of which benefit homeowners.

  • More Money (Good). According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), approximately 80% of Americans will see a tax cut. More people with more money will stimulate the economy. A percentage of the beneficiaries will likely put more of this money into the housing market (rentals or purchases). This increases demand.
  • Wealth Effect (Good). The major beneficiaries of the new tax reform were tax paying corporations as their tax rate dropped from 35% to 21%. The Dow raced 25% higher in 2017. For the 54% of Americans who have money in the market, that’s a material increase. In addition, the Dow is up over 300% since the Great Recession. The same thing happened in late 1990’s, 2004–2007 credit growth cycle, or 2010–2014 oil boom: When Houstonians have more money, house (and land) prices increase at rates above our long-term averages.
  • Repatriation (Good). US companies are currently parking around $2–3 trillion in cash overseas. Over $475 billion is held by companies who have a major presence in the greater Houston area. If these firms bring this money back to the US (which they now have an incentive to do) and invest in growth in the region, it could bring a boom that could rival or exceed 2013.

As it relates to the luxury market (over $500,000) there is another factor at play:

  • Deduction Cap (Bad). The deduction for property income taxes is now capped at $10,000 per year. NAR fought against this hard (and lost). It’s bad for luxury properties because if you’re paying $30,000 in property taxes, you don’t get to deduct the extra $20,000. The “tradeoffs” from the bill’s planners are that overall tax rates go down, and the standard deduction doubles. It’s unknown how or if this will impact the luxury market.

However, we believe this will be offset by two main factors:

  • Taxes are complicated, and they’re not a primary buying decision. In my 15 years of real estate sales (selling over $350M of Houston residential real estate), never have I had a client who has shown me a calculation (or asked for one) about their estimated tax deduction based on estimated property taxes. While people look at their overall property taxes closely, the ability to translate this amount to a “net, end of year difference” when comparing two homes is not something I’ve ever seen.
  • There’s a massive economic incentive for the highest earners in high tax states to buy homes in low tax locations like Houston, Texas. We’re seeing a major uptick in interest from residents from CA, NY, IL and CT in relocating to Houston (or buying a second home here that they claim they live in for 183 days). The math works out (for many people in the top-tier tax bracket) where they could buy a “free home in Houston” solely based on changing their tax base.


Houston Real Estate Market: 2018 Forecast7 Things To Look Forward To (Or Fear) In 2018

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