As oil prices fall, housing demand takes a hit in Houston.

The oil slump has led to slower job growth in Houston’s energy sector – which also means lower population growth, and by extension lower new residential construction rates.

Only $719.2 million worth of homes and apartments made their start in the Houston area this July, according to Dodge Data and Analytics – a 27% decline in starts, year-over-year. Houston’s year to date construction activity is down 16%, to $5.4 billion.

The sales of more affordable homes are still strong despite the slump, and so home builders have turned their efforts towards their construction. According to Houston Business Journal reporter Paul Takahashi, urban builders are looking at smaller floor plans on smaller lots, while suburban builders are looking at increasing affordability.

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