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Growth markets

Real estate investing in Houston

The city of Houston has long been associated with oil and shipping. But now it’s gaining a reputation for another booming market: investing in single family rental homes. John Burns Real Estate Consulting, a nationwide firm, found that some 24 percent of home purchases have recently been made by investors.

Sales of single family homes rose by 10 percent in 2020 over record levels in 2019; $35.3 billion worth of properties were sold (also a record) and sales of all property types for the year totaled 115,523, an 11 percent increase over 2019.

And there is strong demand in Houston’s outer ring. D.R. Horton Inc., one of America’s biggest home builders, put up 124 rental houses in Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston. In December, the Amber Pines at Foster Ridge development sold for $32.3 million to Fundrise, a property-investing platform that manages more than $1 billion on behalf of about 150,000 individuals.

Forecasts for the city in 2021 are optimistic, with home prices expected to grow 6 to 7 percent, according to Zillow and other real estate firms.

Quick facts about Houston

  • With 6,491,000 people, it is the fourth-largest city in the U.S. The population has grown about 2 percent each of the last three years.
  • The metro Houston area is expected to add about 8.3 million residents between 2010 and 2050.
  • There are about 315,000 students enrolled in 100 colleges in the city, providing a steady source of new rental prospects.
  • It is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with an estimated regional annual economic impact of $35 billion.

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