Monday, June 13, 2016

Will the Rebound in Oil Prices Rescue the Houston Housing Market?

by Bill McBride on 6/13/2016 10:56:00 AM

I don't have an answer right now, but I'll be watching inventory for clues.

The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) hasn't released data for May yet.

However, in April, active listing were up 17% year-over-year compared to April 2015.   The current level isn't unusually high for the Houston market (inventory was over 50,000 in 2010), but inventory has increased significantly since oil prices started falling.

Houston InventoryClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the number of active listings in Houston since January 2013.

Note: inventory in late 2014 was at historic lows in Houston - it is the trend that is concerning, not the current level.

If inventory stops increasing (year-over-year), then the housing market will probably be OK (and the rebound in oil prices would be a factor).

Right now it is too early to tell.