Why Houston Home Prices Don’t Follow Trends In National Surveys

This week, a national survey of home prices showed November sales prices were down in 19 of the 20 cities surveyed. The Case-Shiller index does not include Houston, where prices have remained relatively stable, compared to the cities in the survey. There are a number of reasons why Houston home prices don't reflect what's happening in much of the rest of the nation.

Ted C. Jones is a real estate economist, based in Houston.  He says it’s important to keep in mind that different home price surveys use different methodologies. For example, the Case-Shiller index compares the sale prices of homes to what they went for the last time those particular homes sold.

“In the Houston index, what we’re looking at is if I buy a home today, that price goes into the index. We don’t compare to the previous time that same home sold.”

Case-Shiller uses a three-month moving average.  Jones says a more accurate measure is a twelve-month moving average, which cancels out seasonal variations in home sales.

“Average home price in Houston, and I’m going to use December data, was up one percent from a year ago.  And if you use the medians, they were up a half-percent from a year ago.”

Jones says home prices in Houston and elsewhere in Texas have remained healthy because of job growth, a lack of overbuilding, and the state law that prohibits homeowners from borrowing against more than 80 percent of the value of their homes.


David Pitman

David Pitman

Host, Morning Edition

Hi there. I’m glad you found me. Let me take a moment to answer some of the questions you might have about me and my job. I have worked as Morning Edition Host and reporter at News 88.7 since August of 2009. Previously, I hosted Morning Edition at WMFE in...

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