The data is from a new Metrostudy report released May 10 on the first three months of 2018; the report looked at the Houston economy’s job growth and population.
With regard to employment growth, Houston came in below the New York, Dallas and Los Angeles metros with a total employment of 3,058,500 in February 2018. That is an annual growth of 67,100 jobs, or 2.2 percent, for Houston, according to the report.
In 2013 and 2014, Houston added 122,600 jobs and 116,700 jobs, respectively. When the oil and gas industries stopped hiring in late 2015, 2,500 jobs were lost in the area, and even in October 2016, 7,300 jobs were lost, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
By sector, the industry adding the most jobs is professional and business services—which added 25,400 jobs this year. The next-highest field is construction, which added 9,300 jobs. Food services, retail trade and real estate and leasing also added thousands of jobs over the same time period, according to the report.
Industries that lost workers this year include finance, insurance and information, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Houston ranked No. 2 in the nation in terms of new homes added—second only to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which has 33,601 new homes under construction—with 27,675 new homes under construction over the past year, an annual increase of 7.3 percent. Austin ranked No. 9 with 16,457, and San Antonio is ranked 13th at 11,122.
In the first three months of 2018, Houston added 6,693 new homes under construction—the second-highest first-quarter starts in a decade. Last year, the number was 6,368, and the year before was 6,339.
However, luxury is being favored: Metrostudy reports that new home starts priced below $199,000 are down 66 percent since the first three months of 2010. Homes in the $200,000-$299,000 price range are up 114 percent since the same time period, and homes in the $400,000-499,000 range are up 261 percent.
The multifamily market
Houston added 12,941 apartment units during the first three months of 2018 at an average rental rate of $1,022 per month—or $1.16 per square foot. There were 41 complexes under construction, including 10,466 residential units—up from 2017, but not quite reaching 2016 levels, according to Apartment Data Services.
As for resale of existing homes, 13,541 have been sold as of March 2018—an increase of 3 percent—at an average price of $269,376, up 2 percent, or a median price of $214,000, a 5 percent increase. There were 15,951 active listings that spent an average of 54 days on the market, according to the MLS. The study shows that inventory is declining while sales are increasing, at least compared to anything more recent than 2013.
The Metrostudy predicts construction will start on 28,325 new homes throughout 2018 with 27,450 closings, and that 2019 will see 28,750 new starts with 28,375 closings.