Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Houston Market

The Houston real estate market remains strong even during current economic uncertainties. Several factors contribute to Houston's vibrant real estate industry. Houston’s after tax living cost makes it one of the best places in the U.S. to live at approximately 12% below the national average. This is largely due to the fact that Houston’s housing cost is 26% below the national average.
Houston, Sugarland, Baytown’s $325.5 billion Gross Area Profit (GAP) for 2006 was more than Austria’s, Poland’s or Saudi Arabia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2006, Forbes Magazine ranked the Houston Metropolitan area as the third best places in the U.S. for businesses and careers.
Houston’s major industries are Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Engineering, Real Estate, Medicine, Biotechnology, Aerospace, and Marine Science. There is no state or local personal income tax. Sales Tax is 8.25%. Even the horrific collapse of Enron has not prevented Houston from ranking among top three cities for investing in downtown redevelopment projects.

I once felt that legislators missed the boat when introducing 80% maximum LTV of appraised value for cash-out refinancing. That same requirement has helped Texas homeowners retain large amounts of their home equity during the current mortgage sub-prime meltdown.

Many foreign investors are taking advantage of weak U.S. dollars and strong Houston real estate values to reap huge rewards. Read More......

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