New Arrivals Face Housing Crunch

Ask a Houston-area Realtor what’s behind the surge in home sales, and the answer’s likely to be “the economy.” The region added nearly 85,000 jobs last year, and many of the people who filled those jobs are new arrivals.

But Shad Bogany, chair of the Texas Association of Realtors, says many of those workers are having an increasingly difficult time finding a house they can afford.

“They’re just not building in that entry level market right now, and really on new home sales, they don’t have enough inventory to handle all the relocation, buyers coming in. And as I talk to builders around the city, they are just scrapping for inventory, and they’re trying to build up. But then, you’ve got the banks, on the other hand, is not loaning money like they were, for them to be able to start meeting the demand.”

Houston’s home inventory shrunk to 3.7 months in December, the lowest level since December 1999.

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