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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Houston Real Estate: What the Pros think

By Rand Stephens (Houston)
The recent RealShare Houston conference brought out great insights from some of the top real estate professionals in Houston. I had the good fortune to moderate the Town Hall Panel where we had a vibrant discussion about what’s in store for the future of Houston. Here are some key takeaways:
·         For the first time in 30 years upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the energy business are hitting on all cylinders. Houston leads the US in annual job growth.
·         Market fundamentals are excellent and there is an undersupply of inventory in most product types.
·         Houston is now included in the new term “Salty Six”. The term refers to the top US investment markets that all happen to be coastal cities: New York, Boston, DC, Houston, LA, San Francisco.
·         Houston’s property valuations still look very attractive compared to other major markets.
·         Houston’s rental rates still look attractive for users compared to other major markets.
·         While the class A office market is thriving, the class B market offers great buys as the pros expect to see significant improvement in class B fundamentals with a shortage of class A space available for lease.
·         Many of the large office developments are being done by global energy companies using their own financial resources without involvement from the traditional developer.
·         Houston’s investment in mobility infrastructure is paying dividends, however, the live, work and play trend is alive and well like most all cities. People don’t want to commute and locations that offer quality housing, education, office space and amenities will do very well going forward.

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