Last year was a whirlwind for the real estate industry, especially for building and construction. With lumber and other building material prices skyrocketing, sales stalling due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and the U.S. economy entering a serious recession, the housing market seemed to a sudden halt and there was no telling how it would fair.
However, the market came back with a vengeance, stronger than ever before. New home construction was able to fair well through the storm of the pandemic with the help of virtual sales and tours, as well as record-low interest rates.
Experts at Builder Magazine recently came out with their Local Leaders list for 2020, which ranks the country’s 50 largest new-home markets based on closings by the end of the year.
The top five markets were Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas; Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia; Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, Arizona; and Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, Texas. These markets have maintained their positions over the last few years and are remaining robust.
At second place, Houston saw 34,353 new-home closings in 2020, increased from 30,566 (up 12.3%) in 2019. The top three local leaders in Houston were D.R. Horton, Lennar Corp., and Perry Homes.
Lawrence Dean (regional director at Zonda) told Builder that building material shortages and cost increases haven’t stopped Houston’s market from achieving a 20% increase in annual new-home starts.
Houston is considered a high-risk market, according to Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf. More data about Houston’s market (including its market share of home sales, new home closings by product type, top 10 builders, average new home prices and square footage, etc.) can be found here.