Newsflash: Houses for rent in Houston, Texas are hot in demand — and supply. In recent years, America’s fourth largest city has shown an impressive ability to keep up with fierce housing demands in the wake of a new trend to rent in Texas. As a result, Houston renters aren’t struggling nearly as badly with rent inflation and stagnant wages when compared to other major metros.
In combination with a healthy supply of housing, Houston is one city where renters can sigh a breath of relief — things are looking up for housemates here. If you’re on the hunt for houses for rent in Houston, Texas, here’s why you should be renting right now.
A Good Time For Houses for Rent in Houston
Decreasing Housing Prices in Houston
As new residents continue to settle into Houston, rent in Houston is on the tail-end of a boom in housing prices. Fortunately, for potential buyers (and renters) in the metro, the market is cooling down in light of a recent dip in energy prices.
Even so, Houston is one of only two U.S. metros (the other being Dallas) where both rental and ownership stock has grown in the last decade. This is according to a new affordable housing study by NYU Furman Center. Moreover, even with the minor setback in Houston’s prolific oil industry jobs, the city had the strongest economic growth in recent years of all 11 metros in the study. It’s still a great time both to buy and rent in Houston.
“The housing market is still very, very strong,” says Paul Silverman, a realtor from the Houston Association of Realtors. “We’re seeing some negative numbers in single-family homes as far as dollar volume, number of sales and average price, but…we kind of knew they were not sustainable long-term, due to the surge we had.
“Houston has always been relatively steady. And Houston has always maintained a decent appreciation rate, without having to worry about a bubble. For people that prefer stability over a lot of highs and lows, I think Houston’s definitely the place to buy.”
The Good News For Renters
The good news for all types of Houston residents is that the cooling housing market means more affordable housing. Whether you’re renting or buying. Of the 11 metros studied in the Furman Center report, only in Dallas and Houston could the median renter afford the median recently available rental. What’s more is that Houston had the lowest median gross rent of all 11 metros. Moreover, this makes it the second most affordable rental market for typical renters.
“The drop in sales is not a bad thing,” says Silverman. One of the things we have to sell in Houston is affordable housing. And when that goes away, that’s just one less thing that attracts people to our city.”
Most of the growth in Houston metro area renters stemmed from renters in single-family homes. In 2014, 34 percent of renter households lived in single-family homes. This is according to the Furman Center report — 6 percent increase from 2006.
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Essentially, houses for rent in Houston are still going strong because of affordability. But also in part because of the decline of oil prices in Texas (and the nation).
Rent in Houston affected by growing household size
More good news for renters: Single-family houses for rent in Houston aren’t the only type of housing available. The city’s vacancy rate dropped from 13 percent in 2006 to 9 percent in 2014. Despite this, the average renter household size also grew by 7 percent-meaning more housemates under one roof. But if single-family homes aren’t your thing, you’ll still have plenty to choose from.
“One of the big things we have is we’re about to be way over-built on multi-family [units],” Silverman says.
This will contribute to housing affordability. As more rentals become available in the form of multi-family units like apartments and condos.
“Apartment complexes are forecasted to be dropping their rent next year,” continues Silverman.
“If we look at the average prices of rentals, they’ve only gone up one percent. It definitely contributes to the fact that rentals are not skyrocketing. We’ve even had to rent some rentals for less than they would’ve gone for a year or two ago. So renters definitely benefit from [the housing market],” concludes Silverman.
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