Thursday, June 25, 2009

Texas Real Estate Will Sidestep a Deep Decline

From Houston business wire:
June 24, 2009 11:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Texas Real Estate Will Sidestep a Deep Decline, According to Lewis Realty Advisors
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Real estate prices in Texas are generally stable and fears of major declines in property values, similar to what occurred in Texas in the 1980s, are unfounded, according to Lewis Realty Advisors, one of the nation's leading eminent domain consultants and real estate advisory firms.

A decline in the number of transactions and the scarcity of real estate loans have generated a strong belief in the community that values are down sharply, but that is not the case, says David Lewis, chief executive officer of Lewis Realty Advisors.

"National lenders have diminished their lending activity in Texas real estate markets and it is taking longer for buyers to close transactions and receive loans for the deals that do go to completion. However, real property values are not on a great downward slide in the Lone Star State,” said Lewis. “Demand for property in the Texas real estate market is generally good and overbuilding has not been widespread.”

Although there have been some declines in Texas commercial real estate, rental rates have not suffered significantly in most market segments.

While the Texas economy has reported some mild jobs losses, the employment picture in the state outshines the rest of the nation. The major cities of Texas – Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio have been among the nation’s leaders in job creation over the last year. Furthermore, in the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Austin was the only large city in the nation to report an increase job growth over the last 12 months.

“Texas realty prices did not appreciate wildly like the Californian and East Coast properties did a few years ago. So there is no big decline or correction coming to Texas,” Lewis said.

“Texas real estate markets are definitely softer than they were a few years ago, but the declines are nowhere near the disastrous meltdown of the 1980s and a rebound could be coming as soon as 2010,” Lewis said.

Lewis is a founding board member of the Harris County Appraisal District, a former member of the City of Houston Planning Commission and a past president of the Houston Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. He holds the most distinguished professional designations for real estate consultants and appraisers as Senior Residential Appraiser (SRA) and Member Appraisal Institute (MAI).

Founded in 1961, Lewis Realty Advisors, as noted on, has handled a wide variety of appraisal and consulting assignments for private property owners and governmental entities. The Houston-based company provides eminent domain counseling, property tax consulting, estate and investment analysis, as well as other counseling and appraisal services.