Housing market could be losing momentum

For the second month in a row, sales of new U.S. homes dropped in July. Sales of previously occupied homes have fallen four months in a row.

The solid economy and job market might have people needing housing, but higher mortgage rates and high demand is causing a nationwide housing slump.

First Choice Loan Services branch manager and certified mortgage planner Chris Nooney said compared to the rest of the nation, the Houston area has been relatively consistent and we’re not in a slump, yet.

“Home prices have increased to the point that many people can no longer afford, and it’s not just due to rising interest rates, it’s also due to incomes not rising at the same level as the cost of housing,” said Nooney.

He added that it help that Houston has cheap land and cheap labor.

But, the natural disasters across the country have caused a housing supply shortage, increase in demand and those prices being passed on to consumers.

“What we will begin to see is people staying in their homes for much longer time periods, due to the increase in the cost of housing,” said Nooney.

He said home prices will not appreciate at the levels they have in the past four to six years.

Locally, people who can afford homes are looking for older, not new houses.

Austin and Midland housing markets have been hot because of a lack of inventory.

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