This Week in Houston Real Estate: Houston City Council set vote on new floodplain ordinance

by Chase Conner

Houston City Council will make a ruling on new post-Harvey rules for home constructions next month after a request for more public comments. The vote for the ordinance, known as Chapter 19, is scheduled for March 21. The ordinance sets a 500-year floodplain as the minimum standard for new home construction, as well as requires new homes to be built up to 2 feet above the 500-year floodplain. Currently, the code only requires properties to be built 1 foot above the 100-year flood floodplain. The approach of the ordinance is to reduce the risk of flood loss to ensure new dwellings are built high enough to save lives and properties in the event of flooding.

In other real estate news:

  • The demand for rent in Houston remained stable following Hurricane Harvey, with a 2.5 percent growth in rent prices in November 2017, compared to a 1.5 percent decline in November 2016. Rent for the average U.S. single-family property increased by 2.7 percent year over year, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index
  • Camden Homes, a Dallas homebuilder, has a new development in Houston in Liberty County about 45 minutes from downtown. The project, named The Colony Ridge, is in a predominantly undeveloped area. According to developer Trey Harris, Camden has 200 lots under contract for a rental community and an additional 600 lots for residential living.
  • According to a new analysis released Feb. 20, Houston ranked 97th in growth and 96th in prosperity among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in 2017. The analysis by Metro Monitor tracks the change in size of a metropolitan area economy and the economy’s level of entrepreneurial activity, accompanied with indicators of change in average wealth and income produced by an economy. Alan Berube, senior fellow and deputy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution and one of the team members behind the latest analysis, said, “The ripples of an oil slump are to blame.”

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