Houston’s allure as a destination of choice for homebuyers continues to rise, with its population showing consistent growth over recent years. As more people flock to this vibrant city, the hunt for affordable housing becomes increasingly challenging, even in an area long praised for its affordability.
So, what are savvy homebuyers doing about it? Instead of staying within the city center, more and more folks are turning their search toward Houston’s outer loop communities, where affordability meets quality living.
Why Are People Moving to Houston?
What are the benefits of relocating to greater Houston? Well, the huge influx of new residents into the “Capital of the Sun Belt” isn’t happening by chance. Drawn by the lack of state income tax and a business-friendly climate, a surge of new corporations moving to the region is creating a spike in job opportunities.
But Houston’s allure extends well beyond its business incentives. The city offers a diverse cultural landscape, with a vibrant arts scene, myriad dining options featuring global cuisines, and an array of entertainment choices that cater to a wide range of interests and lifestyles.
Houston also boasts numerous top-rated universities and medical research facilities, making it a hub for educational advancement and healthcare excellence. Add to that the city’s extensive park systems and green spaces, and it’s easy to see why so many homebuyers are choosing Houston.
How a Hot Housing Market Affects Prices of New Homes in Houston, TX
Like many metro areas nationwide, Houston’s sizzling housing market has slowly begun to cool as rising interest rates have pushed mortgages to higher levels.
According to a recent report by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), the ripple effects of these increased rates are now being seen in the sales of pre-owned homes. With mortgage rates currently hovering around 7%, a significant uptick from the historically low rates seen in previous years, many potential sellers are opting to stay put to maintain their current, more favorable mortgage rates. This trend, known as the “golden handcuffs” phenomenon, has contributed to a decrease in the sales of pre-owned homes, with many homeowners preferring to wait it out.
This combination of higher mortgage rates, a continued limited inventory, and relatively high home prices have made the affordable housing market in Houston proper less accessible. However, there is a silver lining. The Houston Chronicle recently suggested that the market is normalizing back to pre-pandemic numbers, indicating an easing of prices and a better time to buy than in the recent past.
In fact, according to a report from the Houston Association of Realtors, the median home price in Houston saw a modest increase of just 1.6% in January 2023 compared to the year prior. This slower rate of price increase, coupled with a more balanced market for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, suggests that the inventory levels of affordable homes are becoming more favorable for buyers. For those looking to purchase affordable housing in Houston, this signals a welcome trend toward more buyer-friendly territory.
Houston Exurbs: More Affordable New Homes in Houston
As prices and inventory in the city center continue to moderate, more homebuyers than ever are flocking to Houston’s exurbs. These outlying areas (which are increasingly popular across the state of Texas) are known for their tranquility and spaciousness, attracting those who seek the balance of suburban living with the convenience of nearby urban amenities.
As the heart of Houston thrives with activity, the exurbs offer more laid back neighborhoods, where families can plant roots without sacrificing accessibility to the city’s diverse offerings. The allure of more square footage, larger lots, and the promise of a close-knit community life resonates with buyers looking for value without compromising on lifestyle.
The exurbs offer more than just space and better prices, though; they also represent significant potential. Many of these areas are on the cusp of growth, with new developments and infrastructure projects on the horizon. This foresight into the future growth of Houston’s outskirts is a significant draw for buyers who see their new homes as investments in their family’s future and financial well-being. It’s no wonder, then, that 80% of new homebuyers in Houston are moving to the exurbs.
What to Know When Looking for Homes Outside Houston Texas
When venturing into the outer loop Houston areas, consider several factors:
- Commute Times and Transportation: Proximity to major highways and public transportation can make a significant difference in daily life. A drive from most exurbs to downtown Houston is manageable, allowing professionals to enjoy suburban tranquility without sacrificing urban convenience.
- Schools: The quality of education is paramount for families, so be sure to research the schools in the area. It’s wise to delve into the school district ratings, explore the variety of extracurricular activities available, and perhaps visit some campuses to truly understand the educational environment your children will be part of.
- Amenities: Look for communities that offer amenities to match your lifestyle. Are you looking for green spaces for leisurely weekends, or shopping centers for a dose of retail therapy? How about fitness centers or local community hubs? The exurbs around Houston are renowned for providing exceptional community amenities that cater to a fulfilling lifestyle.
- Future Growth & Potential for Property Appreciation: Areas poised for growth can be a wise investment, potentially leading to property appreciation. Choosing a master-planned community that’s been thoughtfully developed with property value growth in mind can set you up for future success. With a focus on sustainable growth, communities like these are designed to enhance the value of your investment over time.
New Construction Homes: Areas Outside of Houston, Texas
As Houston’s exurbs continue to grow in popularity, homebuyers are searching for communities that embody the very best these areas have to offer. Notable among them is Hillwood Communities – a respected developer in the Houston area known for partnering with the industry’s top builders to offer beautiful new homes.
But beyond the homes that make up their neighborhoods, Hillwood’s communities are guided by principles that aren’t just empty statements. Instead, these principles represent the lived experience of the residents who call those communities home. Each is a testament to generational design, innovation, energy efficiency, and a harmonious blend of aesthetics and functionality.
At the heart of our philosophy lies a dedication to creating spaces that foster well-being, enrichment, and stewardship. These communities are designed to be environments that encourage personal growth, communal learning, and a deep respect for the natural surroundings. This holistic approach to development has garnered Hillwood Communities countless awards, accolades, and industry certifications, reflecting our unwavering pursuit of quality and spotlighting our role as a leader in forward-thinking residential development.
In line with our vision for continued growth and excellence, Hillwood is expanding its presence in the Houston area with the introduction of our latest development, Valencia by Hillwood. This new home community is poised to embody all the values and qualities that have become synonymous with the Hillwood name, offering residents the opportunity to live in a community that prioritizes connection and the well-being of its residents.
Finding Your New Home in Houston at a Hillwood Community
As Houston continues to change and grow, its exurbs will remain a prime destination for families and new construction homebuyers for years to come. The exurbs offer not just more affordable housing options, but a quality of life that’s increasingly hard to match within the city center. With Hillwood Communities, you can find a home that is an investment in your future, offering all the benefits of Houston living with the added perks of space, community, and value.
For those looking to make their home in the Houston exurbs, Pomona, an award-winning Hillwood community, is a prime example of the quality and affordability available outside the loop. And with our new Valencia community on the horizon, the options for more affordable new homes in Houston are set to expand even further.
Want to learn more? Explore Hillwood Communities today.