This Week in Houston Real Estate: Texas adds over 16,000 jobs to the market and more

by Chase Conner

Houston is seeing a growing number of homeowners receiving notices describing the required elevation needed to be made to their homes after Hurricane Harvey, but the cost is substantially high. According to a story from Houston Public Media, elevation company Arkitektura mentioned estimates of $75 per square foot, or more than $112,000 for a 1,500-square-foot house. This estimate is based on just the elevation and not the included repairs needed inside the home.

Over 1,944 “substantial damage” letters to homeowners were sent out early February and according to Jamila Johnson, Houston’s floodplain manager, the city plans to send out even more. The new regulations are a long-term initiative to alleviate future damages and decrease the amount of flood-damaged homes put on FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Fund. The loss avoidance studies by FEMA found that elevating homes creates an effective long-term solution. 

In other Houston real estate news

  • Texas added 16,000 jobs in January, totaling 240,500 jobs over the past year. The Texas economy saw just 400 additional jobs in December and 54,000 in November. According to information released by the Texas Workforce Commission, the state unemployment rate increased to 4 percent in January, from 3.9 percent in December. The U.S. unemployment in January was 4.1 percent.
  • Real estate broker Kimberly Harding was presented with the Circle of Legends Award from RE/MAX LLC. The award honored her 10 years of service and over $10 million in commissions. The award has only been achieved by less than .5 percent of all sales associated in the RE/MAX network. 
  • David Harvey Jr., chairman and CEO of D.E. Harvey Builders, will be honored at the 2018 Landmark Awards on April 19th hosted at the Hilton Houston Post Oak. Harvey will be recognized by the Houston Business Journal for his lifetime achievement in real estate. 
  • KB Homes announced their opening of the most recent community of single-family homes in Katy, Texas, The Meadows at Westfield Village. The community is located close to Highway 529, the Grand Parkway and Interstate 10. The homes will start in the mid $170,000’s and range in size from 1,631 to 2,961 square feet. The eight distinct home designs will feature five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bath with dedicated laundry rooms. 
  • Houston’s tallest residential high-rise, Market Square Tower, is now over 90 percent leased after less than a year. The luxury tower starts rent at $2,200 and features a sky pool, entailing a glass-bottomed cantilevered pool, allowing swimmers to swim out 500 feet above Downtown Houston. Along with, a spa, a sauna, an indoor basketball court, a movie theatre, a poker suite, and etc. 
  • Transwestern Development Company released data this week highlighting the trend of baby boomers downsizing to apartment living in order to better maintain their livelihood and comfort. The uptick in demand for apartments has resulted in approximately 94 percent occupancy for three-bedroom units. 

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