Houston Agent (HA): New construction has fallen off in Houston, but where is demand holding or even growing in the greater metropolitan area?
Rhoda Davignon (RD): We have seen demand remain strong in the Clear Lake/League City area, Humble, and the western suburbs of Richmond, Fulshear, Sugarland, and Missouri City. Even as the Houston market slows, these areas have continued to garner consumer interest.
HA: Dallas recently surpassed Houston as the top new home construction market in the nation. What is responsible for the decline in Houston? Do you see the market bouncing back, and if so, when and how?
RD: Homebuilding is a cyclical market, so its strength vacillates. Houston has seen a bit of a slowdown, primarily due to oil prices, but as the price per barrel continues to rise, so will consumer confidence. We are already seeing some of the effects of this increased consumer confidence as more homebuyers are entering the marketplace now than they did this same time last year.
HA: What are a few of the top items Houston homebuyers are looking for in a new home?
RD: Homebuyers are always looking for a home that offers a variety of options that will best meet their family’s needs. At the top of the list is location, whether that means an easier commute to work, living in a great school district, or being within close proximity to family. With home design, we are seeing a greater demand for homes with five bedrooms with a second bedroom down, outdoor living, and open, flexible spaces. I’m most proud of our casual dining designs. Open spaces that lend themselves to entertaining family and friends are very popular with homebuyers. Trendmaker has taken down the walls that used to the separate formal living and dining rooms and created an open space that is perfect for family dinners and entertaining. Also important to Houston homebuyers are developments with great amenities and activities designed to foster community between its residents. We also get great feedback from our homebuyers who appreciate that many of the features and finishes that other builders consider upgrades come standard in our homes.