A higher ceiling

Houston housing market will unlock this price increase in 2020, says new study

Houston housing market will unlock this price increase in 2020

Couple buying a house
Houston will see a slight jump in home prices next year. Photo courtesy of Austin Board of Realtors

Homebuyers in Houston are in store for a tiny bump in home prices in 2020, according to a new forecast from Realtor.com. In an outlook published December 4, Realtor.com predicts prices for single-family homes in the Houston metro area will climb 0.2 percent next year compared with 2019 — the second highest price increase on tap among Texas’ four major metro areas.

“Overall, I think 2020 will be a good year to be a buyer, and I think sellers will have to reset some expectations depending on their hyperlocal market,” Paige Martin, broker associate and leader of the Houston Properties Team at Keller Williams, tells CultureMap.

In October, the median price for a home in the Houston area reached $239,900, up 2.1 percent from October 2018, the Houston Board of Realtors says.

The highest price increase on tap among Texas' major metros will hit the San Antonio market. Realtor.com predicts prices for single-family homes in the San Antonio metro area will climb 0.8 percent next year compared with 2019.

“We are fortunate in San Antonio that we have remained pretty steady in our price growth over the years while other markets continue to fluctuate,” Grant Lopez, chairman of the San Antonio Board of Realtors, tells CultureMap. “And despite the increase in prices, we are still one of the most affordable housing markets in Texas.”

In October, the median home price in the San Antonio area stood at $235,700, up 6 percent from October 2018, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors. That’s the lowest median price among the state’s four largest metro areas.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, Realtor.com foresees home prices declining 0.5 percent in 2020 versus 2019. That would be the biggest drop in home prices among the state’s four major metro areas.

“The North Texas housing market has come off of several record-breaking years,” Cathy Mitchell, president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors, tells CultureMap. “A slight self-correction in the market compared to what we have experienced the last few years was expected and could prove to be beneficial in balancing our market with more quality inventory.”

MetroTex says the median home price in DFW jumped 6 percent to $264,000 in October compared with the same time in 2018.

In the Austin metro area, Realtor.com anticipates buyers will enjoy a 0.2 percent dip in home prices next year compared with this year.

“As a realtor who serves the Austin real estate market daily, I do not agree with the Realtor.com forecast,” Romeo Manzanilla, incoming 2020 president of the Austin Board of Realtors, tells CultureMap. “Affordability concerns in the Austin metro area will continue to persist in 2020, as Austin’s economy will be fueled by tech and other companies relocating, expanding, or establishing secondary headquarters in Austin. Given the housing shortage and continued demand, median home prices will continue to rise at a conservative rate.”

In October, the median home price in the Austin area soared 7.4 percent to $327,500 versus the same time in 2018, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. That makes Austin the priciest home market among the four major metro areas in Texas.

Overall, the Realtor.com forecast indicates median home prices will stay relatively steady across the state’s four biggest metro areas in 2020 — and will stay well below prices in a number of East Coast and West Coast markets, particularly big metro areas in Northern and Southern California.

“Cities in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas will continue to benefit from shoppers looking for more affordable alternatives to California,” says George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.