Values going up and down in housing are effected by so many factors. The big ones that are easier to monitor include business activity in an area and inventory of homes for sale.
Houston has been on the top, or near the top, of many list nationally in 2011 regarding job growth and low unemployment numbers. Home inventories, up for the last few years, have been decreasing in most areas across Houston. A 6 month inventory is considered "balanced" and we are at those numbers in many neighbors across Houston.
Houston's appreciation numbers, in general, have historically gone step-by-step with the rate of inflation since the 1990s. There are always areas that do better or worst, and Realtors cannot predict the future, but very recent trends tend to help us point buyers in the right direction. We never see huge growth spurts as we viewed in California, Arizona and Florida because we have lots of land to build on and cost to build are lower here.
I always tell buyers that there is more to buying a home than the appreciation of the value. You also gain by the forced savings (paying the landlord..yourself), tax deductions, value increase by improvements you provide and the values hard to explain like being part of a community and a place to raise a family.
Don't put all your "investment" dollars into real estate. Diversify your nest egg, but include your home and possibly a few rental homes, along with other investment options. And nothing would improve you position than having a home paid for as you get older. When your looking, get with a local experienced Realtor to help you find those "perfect" neighborhoods.
Keller Williams Memorial
Roberto "Omar" PeÃ±a
Fine Homes & Estates Intâ€™l. LLC
Historically, the inner loop and near loop areas have seen consistent, and sometimes remarkable appreciation over the last 5 to 10 years. More importantly, even with the slowdown in the real estate market in very recent years, properties in the closer in areas did not see devaluations occur like other areas did. With gasoline prices projected to continue to rise, the demand - therefore the prices - of homes closer to major employment centers is very likely to continue to accelerate values. Find a Realtor with experience in the areas you are considering. Best of luck to you!
Prudential Gary Greene