Houston Real Estate Forecast: 8 Burning Questions About The 2019 Housing Market


Houston Real Estate Market 2019UPDATE: We have just released our Houston Real Estate Forecast For 2022. While you will find that most of our predictions last year were accurate, you’ll be more intrigued to read about our projections about the housing market this year.

We analyzed the home sales trends of the past two decades to address 8 key questions about the 2019 Houston real estate market.

  1. Was The 2018 Housing Market Really As Good As Advertised?
  2. Did The Real Estate Market Exceed 2018 Projections?
  3. What’s 2018’s Most Surprising Trend And Will It Affect 2019?
  4. Is The Housing Market Looking At A Downturn?
  5. What Areas Are Going To Trend Well This Year?
  6. What Areas Are Going To Trend Poorly This Year?
  7. What Design Trends Are Driving Home Buyers?
  8. What Other Trends Should You Keep In Mind?

For a custom home value report to see how your neighborhood is trending or for interesting Houston homes for sale, contact Paige Martin, the #1 Individual Agent with Keller Williams in the State of Texas and team lead of The Houston Properties Team.

Was The 2018 Houston Real Estate Market Really As Good As Advertised?

The overall headline was that the Houston real estate market set new records and last year’s single-family home sales surpassed 2017’s record volume by nearly four percent.

However, the headline market statistics do not reflect what buyers and sellers are living. People don’t buy “average” houses.

Best Houston Housing Segments

Best Houston Housing Segments

If you were a seller in The Heights, you likely had a great year and received multiple offers. Many buyers in the Heights feel anxious from missing opportunities, seeing material appreciation, and are pressed to present strong offers.

Other areas that saw double digit increases in median homes prices in 2018 include Memorial Close In (24%), Garden Oaks (23%), and River Oaks (14%).

By contrast, homes in Meyerland are sitting on the market for over five months before going under contract. The Meyerland market saw double digit (-11%) price declines both for home and land values.

Other areas that experienced flooding like Energy Corridor (-6%), Bellaire (-7%) and Memorial West (-10%) are also struggling and saw material price declines.

As a microcosm, the “average” growth rate for the seven neighborhoods above is about 5.5%, but none of the people living in those areas experienced anything close to average.

Best Houston Housing Segments

Did The Houston Housing Market Exceed Your 2018 Projections?

Overall, yes. Our main predictions for 2018 (and our continued primary prediction for 2019) is that there is a flight to quality.

Homes in good locations (close to major job centers, zoned to top ranked schools, outside primary flood zones, not adjacent to railroads or major roadways) with land should continue to outperform.

By contrast, we believe homes in disadvantaged locations will struggle as builders keep adding inventory to awkward lots, and as continued development of the city make Houston more prone to flooding and traffic congestion.

Best Houston Housing Segments

What’s The Most Surprising Market Trend Last Year And Will It Affect 2019?

We were surprised by two main things.

First, the Fed raised interest rates four times during 2018. While this was widely expected, it created a unique mismatch between buyers and sellers.

Most buyers determine “What can I afford to buy?” based on their monthly payment amounts. While this number logically translates to a total purchase price, it is more often driven based on an emotional “ok, I can afford to pay $X per month.”

Best Houston Housing Segments

Best Houston Housing Segments

Rising interest rates decreased buyers total purchasing power..

This meant that many buyers felt that they should be “getting better deals” because their interest rates increased. However, most sellers disagreed and focused on the headlines that said the overall market was increasing.

This lead to more angst, and an increased number in terminated transaction, as buyers didn’t want to overpay and were afraid of “another shoe dropping.”

Second, we were surprised by the amount of the increase in land values in Houston’s Top Suburbs. Areas like Katy, Missouri City, Pearland, Sugar Land and Spring posted very strong 1-year land value appreciation rates.

These suburbs have grown large enough where buyers were willing to pay more for certain lots in prime, non-flooded locations, zoned to top ranked schools. This is the same trend we’re seeing in Close In Houston, but since the cost basis is still much lower in the suburbs, the appreciation rates are higher.

Best Houston Housing Segments

Is The Houston Real Estate Market Looking At A Downturn in 2019?

I think 2019 will be the best opportunity to be a buyer that we’ve had in many years.

Jobs. Credit. Location.

These are the three most important factors driving the real estate market, and the reason I’m bullish on Houston this year.

Houston’s economy should add 71,000 new jobs this year. In addition, oil & gas exports are growing at an exponential rate, with the Gulf Coast being the primary beneficiary for decades to come.

Best Houston Housing Segments

Best Houston Housing Segments

The Fed is the main wildcard on credit. Having raised rates four times in 2018, they have been tightening. However, this feels prudent to me and very different than 2008 or 2001. Buyers can still obtain financing at attractive terms.

I expect home sales in quality locations to perform well. While there may be blips in certain neighborhoods, homes with land, zoned to top ranked schools, located near major job centers have nearly doubled the overall market on a 10 and 20 year basis. Whenever turbulence arises, we have a flight to quality. I believe 2019 will be no different.

I don’t think that we’ll see “screaming deals,” but i think we’ll have more willing sellers and there will be opportunities for buyers to pick up things “in a lull” before things heat back up.

The stock market, tariffs and political theatre have created a lot of drama. I believe the buyers who focus on the fundamentals (good locations, with land, zoned to top ranked schools with quality layouts) can purchase attractive, long-term investment options.

Best Houston Housing Segments

“Paige Martin is the best Realtor. She is highly experienced and very knowledgeable. She made our buying experience an enjoyable one, not only for us, but for our daughter, son-in-law and several of our friends. We have bought and sold many houses, and Paige has been the best realtor we have ever worked with. We highly recommend her.”

See the Best Housing Neighborhoods Guide in PDF

Get the full 68-page Houston Neighborhoods Guide in an easy-to-read Adobe Acrobat format. Save to your desktop or read on your mobile.

What Specific Houston Areas Are Going To Trend Well This Year?

I believe the Greater Heights (Houston Heights, Garden Oaks, and Oak Forest) will continue to do well.

We are also seeing increased interest and activity for “up and coming areas” that provide great proximity to major job centers including: EaDo, Eastwood, Near Northside / Hardy Yards, and Lindale Park.

With the MetroRail developments, I think these neighborhoods have a bright future.

Best Houston Housing Segments

What Specific Houston Areas Are Going To Trend Poorly This Year?

I believe the areas that flooded multiple times will continue to struggle.

These areas suffered in 2018, but I think the market is discounting two factors.

First, Houston’s city council passed onerous regulations for any new permits in flood prone areas.

Many builders and major remodelers I’ve talked with expect their costs to increase by 15-25% in these areas.

The second issue is that we expect a large number of Harvey-flooded-and-then-renovated homes to start hitting the market over the next 6 months.

Some of these will be done by reputable builders, but many won’t have remediation certificates, quality construction, or strong warranties.

This will make determining fair value difficult between non-flooded homes, flooded-and-well renovated and flooded-and-poorly renovated homes.

In addition, many builders in these areas have set their list pricing based on their cost plus the “amount of money they need to make.”

This is creating a material oversupply in luxury inventory areas that flooded.

Best Houston Housing Segments

Best Houston Housing Segments

As an example, new construction homes between $1M-$1.5M in Bellaire are on the market for an average of 285 days now as sales have declined by 30%.

While builders are currently holding strong to their list price, I believe that many will be forced to sell at material discounts, creating more downward pressure on prices.

I’m also concerned about the resale of several new construction condo projects.

In some cases, developer pricing has been 30-50% above the average price per square foot of Houston’s top ranked condo buildings. While there have been limited resales, at least one original buyer experienced a $1M+ loss already.

What Design Trends Are Driving Home Buyers in 2019?

Many buyers have been influenced by HGTV. They either want something “new and pretty” or they want to be compensated for doing the work themselves.

Popular design trends include use of mixed metals, transitional styling and more contemporary lines. Many buyers are also asking for homes that are “light and bright” with open floor plans.

We’re seeing a decrease in demand in very stylistic homes (e.g. French, Mediterranean, Spanish homes) and many sellers are better off making cosmetic changes before putting them on the market.

Best Houston Housing Segments

What Other Trends Should Buyers And Sellers Keep In Mind?

I believe that much of the decline in new home sales comes from the fact these communities are in disadvantaged locations.

Many of these communities either require a long commute to major job centers, aren’t zoned to top ranked schools and/or have flood concerns.

Existing homes that also suffer from location challenges (close proximity to railroads or main highways, require lengthy commutes) that are priced above the average for the area, will also struggle.

Best Houston Housing Segments

Best Houston Housing Segments

Given the increased stock market volatility, we’re seeing an increase in cash buyers. This could be an interesting trend to watch in 2019, depending on what happens with stocks this year. The iBuying trend has also seen marked growth in Houston. Read our Houston iBuyer Review Guide for more information.


We don’t have a crystal ball. All predictions are our educated guesses. Caveat emptor.

Data covers single family, townhome & condo sales in areas 4,9,16,17,22,23,24 (“Close in Houston”)

All Houston property sale information was sourced by the HAR MLS database.

Data is deemed accurate, but is not guaranteed. Information is provided for informational purposes only

Related Houston Real Estate Resources

Where To Live For the Best Schools

Finding the best schools in Houston can be a daunting task. The City of Houston has approximately 280 public schools and over 85 private schools. When you include the Best Houston…

Best Land Value Appreciation

These neighborhoods have created the most wealth for their owners. We’re starting to see more deals emerge in the Houston real estate market…

Best Luxury Houston Condos

If you’re interested in making a sound financial decision (and also enjoying where you live), there are three critical factors to consider before making a condo purchase…

20 Most Expensive Houston Neighborhoods

Houston has 10 of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the nation. See which communities made the “20 Most Expensive Houston Neighborhoods” list…

Get More Details

Paige Martin

Our Recent Awards

Why We’re Different

  • #1 Keller Williams Realtor in Houston
  • #1 Keller Williams Realtor in Texas
  • #6 Keller Williams Realtor in the U.S.
  • "One of Houston's Top 25 Realtors," Houston
    Business Journal
  • "One of America's Best Realtors," RealTrends.com / WSJ
  • Over $1 Billion in Houston residential home sales
  • We know this market, and this property.
  • We're candid.
  • We'll tell you the "bad' and the "ugly" about any property we show you.
  • Most often, we talk our clients into NOT BUYING.
- Gretchen & Brad Richter- Gretchen & Brad Richter
“We relocated to Texas from out of state 3 years ago, and Paige’s intimate knowledge of Houston neighborhoods, valuations, trends, and pitfalls was simply unmatched. We would never have been able to find our perfect home without her. She was calm and focused when everything seemed most challenging — a true professional and advocate who has become a dear friend. We are grateful to have met her!

Read More

- Peter McGillivray & Jillian Jopling- Peter McGillivray & Jillian Jopling
“Paige demonstrated all qualities you want in a realtor – knowledgeable, attentive, responsive, patient. She put us into our first dream home, and due to that experience, we’ve returned to her time and again for our other real estate needs. You will quickly realize after working with Paige that while she focuses on completing your deal, her endgame is to ensure her clients’ needs are preserved and satisfied.

Read More

- Gail & Ian Mackey- Gail & Ian Mackey
“As first time buyers in the US, we are delighted to have worked with Paige. She is a delight to work with, and I would recommend anyone to enlist her help if you’re looking to either buy or sell a property.

Read More

- Dr. Jen Shroff- Dr. Jen Shroff
“Paige is simply the best. She was patient with us throughout the process and took time to answer all of our questions! She knows so much about the housing market so we felt very confident that we were in great hands!

Read More

- Travis LeConey- Travis LeConey
“Paige has helped my wife and I twice now. I couldn’t think of a better person to have in your corner when buying or selling! She guided us through the process, and made it seem so easy that selling/buying was fun! Paige is a great person, very responsive, and great at what she does. I recommend Paige to all my friends and co-workers. If you are buying or selling in the area Paige covers, give her a call. You won’t regret it!

Read More

- Xavier Refunjol- Xavier Refunjol
“Paige is dedicated, thorough and caring to where you feel you’re their only client. Their best asset is their honesty, based on experience and data. We had a great time buying our first home largely because of them. We would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

Read More

- Taylor Lamb- Taylor Lamb
“Paige was wonderful to work with. She was thorough, knowledgeable and patient. I would highly recommend Paige to anyone looking to buy or sell a home.”

Read More

- Jeremy & Lynn Greene- Jeremy & Lynn Greene
“Paige Martin is the best Realtor. She is highly experienced and very knowledgeable. She made our buying experience an enjoyable one, not only for us, but for our daughter, son-in-law and several of our friends. We have bought and sold many houses, and Paige has been the best realtor we have ever worked with. We highly recommend her.

Read More

- Dr. Forrest Roth, MD- Dr. Forrest Roth, MD
“Paige is the best of the best when it comes to real estate! She has bought & sold many properties for us & we couldn't recommend her more highly!

Read More

- Tina Spiller, Chevron- Tina Spiller, Chevron
“I really enjoyed working with Paige on the sale of my townhome. The HAR listing was perfect and went up quickly and the sale was closed within 30 days. I definitely recommend Paige for any real estate transaction.

Read More

Read 100+ Testimonials: LinkedIn for the Best Houston Realtor

Our Commitment


We promise to give you the most candid advice on any property to help you make the best decision for your family.


Having sold over $1 billion of Houston homes, we've seen the good, bad & ugly and can help you avoid problems.


We built a proprietary data analytics package to help give you the best information on any neighborhood, building, or home.


Built over 20 years, our network of experts, technology-driven agents, and database can help you through each step of the process.

Latest Houston Real Estate Stories

Read more Houston real estate updates

Back to Top