Experts: Houston real estate market still sizzling


If you are looking to sell a home this year in the Houston area, good news. 2014 is expected to see the same pace of sales as last year. The market is so hot one entire Houston real estate firm has been sold.

Real estate is booming in Houston.

"I know that we ended our year over $2 billion," said Martha Turner with Martha Turner Sotheby's.

Turner's real estate firm did so well in 2013 that it got bought by Sotheby's International. She and business partner Tom Anderson say the move gives the Houston firm a global link.

"It's truly a worldwide network, and now people all over the world will be exposed to Houston properties in that country's language and monetary denominations," Anderson said.

That's just one reason why the Houston Association of Realtors expects 2014 to be just as productive as 2013. A forecast of 70,000 new jobs is another.

Chaille Ralph with HAR says buying a home may cost a bit more due to rising interest rates.

"I think we are going to see more of a tick-up in the last half of the year," Ralph said.

One problem for buyers getting a new home, closing dates that get moved back due to construction delays. Buyers then have to accept higher interest rates on loans that end up adding thousands to a 30-year loan.

It's happening in Houston due to high demand for new homes, but Ralph says there are ways to protect yourself.

"I would ask the questions of the builder, if you can't get me into this house, who is going to pay if the interest rate goes up? What kind of penalty can we impose for the builder?" Ralph said.

It's hard to look at Houston housing market as anything but fantastic, but some are finding a drawback to the fast pace of sales, especially when it comes to getting a home built.

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