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Is The Oil Slump Done Hurting The Real Estate Market?

Earlier this year, the effects of the oil slump on Texas' real estate market were so pronounced that the Wall Street Journal wrote an article about housing woes in Houston. Since that time, the oil slump has continued to impact the decisions of buyers and sellers in Houston and across Texas. But that has not meant a complete stalling of the market, and sellers, buyers, leasers and lessees may still face a variety of unique legal situations involving real property.

A recent Houston Business Journal article examined real estate trends that are emerging in the Houston area. These trends include:

  • An influx of people: More than 150,000 people moved to Houston between 2014 and 2015 (the most recent data released). With such an influx of people, there will remain an interest in buying and selling homes. This also means that all traditional buy-sell issues remain relevant, including those involving purchase price negotiation, escrow matters, closing, title search and lien removal, as well as many other related topics. There will also be many leases signed by renters and landlords, lease disputes that arise and other related issues that involve rental property.
  • Baby boomers retiring: As baby boomers retire, there will be an increased need for housing that caters to the 60-plus age demographic. This presents issues from all aspects of developing new housing (zoning issues, contracts for subcontractors, purchase agreements, etc.) to individual purchase agreements for particular housing units.
  • Real estate financing issues: Developers of all sizes may face issues obtaining financing due to the oil slump's effects on markets. This can lead developers to look for nontraditional sources of funding, and it is imperative to have an appropriate financing agreement in place when working with these sources.

So what do these trends mean? While they may not mean a full departure from the depressed market that the Wall Street Journal documented earlier this year, they likely signal that the market may have turned a corner and at least started on the road to recovery. Whether buying, selling, financing or leasing property, be sure that you have a trusted real estate advocate to protect your interests and help you make the most of your actions during this unique time for Texas real estate.

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