Monday, April 22, 2013

Houston homebuying trends, not to say I told you so

but I told you so.($$$)

Sadly, this story is hidden behind the Chron's pay-wall, which is the Houston journalism equivalent of Comcast SportsNet meaning that most aren't willing to pay to gain access.  And while you should go read the entire article, the main take-away is that 80% of new-home sales in Houston are occurring outside Beltway 8.

Eighty percent.

What this means is that, despite the protestations of Houston Metro and The Unproductive Class a vast majority of our region's residents have taken a look at the promise of sardine-urbanism, and have decided to take a pass.  The reasons for this are not hard to figure out.

 - You can get more home for your buck the further away from the city center, and people will always be attracted to larger homes, and yards.

 - In many cases, the idea that downtown is the biggest jobs center in Houston is false.  More and more companies are locating elsewhere, including along the Energy Corridor and in The Woodlands, which means that, in many cases, commuting into town is no longer a necessity.

 - Taxes are lower outside of the Houston city limits. Given the passage of the new rain tax, much lower.

There are many more reasons but you get the general idea.

Now that we have this data the question should be asked:  If 9 out of 10 new home purchases are being made outside the Loop (if you include the 12% Loop to Beltway 8 purchases) why are our elected officials and transportation agencies continuing to forward transportation plans that don't provide them any benefit?

If you think either ChronBlog or the Apple Dumpling Gang are going to ask this then I've got this Casino Galveston I'd like to sell you.  Houston's transportation planning is, currently, a disaster, yet no one wants to address the reasons why.

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