February 2016 H OUSING N EWS R EPORT

prices and a savings and loan crisis. But it’s still significant. Energy accounts for about one- third of the region’s GDP, 10 percent of the region’s employment and over one-fifth of the region’s wage and salary income, reports the Greater Houston Partnership. The shift in oil prices could pose a threat to all oil-producing economies around the country including Texas, North Dakota and Colorado, according to Joseph Melendez, founder and CEO of ValueInsured, a real estate and financial services company that offers down payment insurance for homebuyers. “Nobody really understands the overall supply of the global oil-producing nations,” said Melendez. “There’s a market share war going on right now. The Saudis said they are not going to give up their market share. In the interim, oil-producing companies in places like Texas are cutting back on employment and exploration, and that’s going to affect housing.” Melendez said that Texas has diversified its economy. shielding them from price


“People who are employed and are renters, and they have confidence in the market, this would be a great time to buy,” said Melendez, referring to potential home buyers in Houston. “If you can inject consumer confidence into the market, then renters will enter the market. That would help put a floor on home prices.” But a prolonged oil slump could be harmful Texas housing, said Melendez. “A protracted slump will negatively impact the Texas housing market,” he said. Meanwhile in Austin, which has little exposure to the energy industry, the housing market is booming. According to the Austin Board of Realtors (ABoR), 2015 set all-time records for Austin- area homes sales and home prices. ABoR reported a 5 percent increase in 2015 for the Continued Next Page Austin Homes Break Records in 2015

Joseph Melendez Founder and CEO ValueInsured New York, New York

“ A protracted slump will negatively impact the Texas housing market. ”

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau


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