Oil industry impacts Houston real estate market

Published: Feb. 24, 2016 at 11:20 AM MST
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The slump and layoffs in the oil industry are having a huge impact on the Houston real estate market.

One year ago the housing market was booming, but layoffs have caused a complete downward spiral.

In Katy, This new homeowner has seen first-hand how Houston's real estate market is changing.

“This one was pretty easy! I had tried last summer. Every time I looked at one I liked online, it was already gone,” said Jodi Schallhorn, who just bought a house.

That's because there are more houses on the market now.

Realtors say that's thanks, in part, to the downturn in the oil industry.

That's why the owners of this house in Cinco Ranch are selling.

“They're a little nervous, they want to see what's happening,” said Realtor Christi Borden. “They had intended to downsize. Their kids are grown. But instead of jumping into the next purchase, they have rented. We found them a rental home, selling this home, and they're going to wait it out and see what happens. They are going to buy, but in a year from now.”

Seventy-five percent of Realtor Christi Borden's clients work in the energy corridor - most want to live in Katy.

Now, she says instability at work is driving people to seek stability at home.

That means buying in larger neighborhoods – with pools, parks, and playgrounds.

“It's the pocket neighborhoods that may be lacking in amenities or do not have the Disney line kind of effect that you see with your Cinco Ranches and your Cross Creek Ranch and Seven Meadows where we are,” Borden said. “These benefit the most, because they have built a surrounding that helps bolster appreciation.”

She says homes in smaller, pocket neighborhood will sit on the market longer.

For buyers, that's good news because that means more options.

“I liked five of them, put an offer on two of them,” Schallhorn said. “This of course was the last one. It was very easy. No haggle, no stress.”

Despite the flood of for sale signs, prices have remained stable.

Experts say there's no reason to panic.