Why Houston's Condos Are The Next Big Thing On The Housing Market

The strong housing market continues in Houston — with an unexpected side effect. The lack of housing inventory has led to a spike in the sale of condos and townhouses.

In Texas and Houston, 2013 has been a really good year for the housing market. Low interest rates and a recovering economy led to booming sales,  dwindling home inventories and the subsequent increase in prices.

And that means a lot of buyers turned to condos instead of traditional single family homes.

Texas Association of Realtors Chairman Shad Bogany says condos meet the demand for housing closer to downtown and other major employment hubs.

"I want to be in a high traffic area downtown, you might want to be in The Woodlands Town Center, or you want to be in the Greenway Plaza area or the  Galleria area, you're typically going to see a lot of townhouse sales there because homes prices are too high for people to afford."

More than 5,000 condos were sold in Houston between January and September of this year.

That's a 25 percent increase over the same time period the year before.

Bogany says there's another reason for the increased interest in condos.

"Keep in mind with the high population growth that we're getting here, you've got people moving from East Coast, West Coast, who are used to living in a condo or a mid-rise or a townhouse of some sort or a brownstone."

The median price for condos also went up seven percent to $140,000.

Bogany says his tip for buyers is to purchase a condo for about half the price of traditional homes in the same neighborhood.

 

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...