Economist and former HAR chairman Ted Jones gave the keynote address at the group’s annual forecasting luncheon.
“I expect housing sales this year to go up 4% to 6% and home values [to go up] 5% to 7%.”
Early estimates indicate single-family home sales in Houston rose 17% over the course of 2013, while home values rose about 10%.
Jones said that new construction will continue to face headwinds from low lot availability and high material costs.
“And worse than that, if you think about it, we went from building almost 2.1 million homes a year to 300,000. Our builders have got a real issue about skilled workforce. We lost an entire generation of roofers, framers, concrete people, trim carpenters, the whole works.”
Selling at the current pace, Houston’s housing inventory would run out in less than three months. Jones said a balanced market has a supply of roughly six months.