Bauer Business Focus

Steven Kaufman, What’s Ahead For Houston Real Estate

Houston home prices fell by 2.4 percent in 2015. Will 2016 bring renewed growth or further decline?

Steven Kaufman, founder and chief acceleration officer, Zeus Trust Company
Steven Kaufman, founder and chief acceleration officer, Zeus Trust Company

Local home sales stumbled in the fourth quarter of 2015. The chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors blamed falling oil prices, saying the real estate market was cooling off after years of being red hot. Steven Kaufman is a mortgage banker and the founder of Zeus Trust Company. He joins Andrew Schneider on this week’s Bauer Business Focus.

 

Interview Highlights:

How are falling oil prices affecting Houston-area home prices?

“Luxury homes have taken a bit of a hit in both volume, sales price, and time on the market… In fact, the only price bracket that has increased [sales] … is the range of $150,000 to $250,000… The average price for a home, for example, in Houston is actually down year over year. It’s not up. It’s down double digits.”

 

Where would people go in Houston to find homes in that $150,000-$250,000 range?

“You need to be on the outskirts or the adjacent areas of Houston… Off of [U.S. Highway] 290, the Cypress area is still a great opportunity, despite the traffic – obviously it’s horrific, but… it will end, and when that does, the pricing will return.”

 

What do you see as the main factors affecting the outlook for the Houston mortgage market in 2016?

“The months of inventory of homes … is just over three months, which means every home [listed] for sale right now would be sold in three months. A healthy market, a balanced market … is five to six months of inventory … which means we’re still in a very strong sellers’ market … If you’re buying [though], with interest rates lower than expected, you’re still in a great buying position.”

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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