Markets & EconomyRentals

Houston energy slump affecting city unevenly

Houston's economic forecast for 2016 can be divided into East and West
  • At a recent economic summit about the straights that West Houston is in, data showed a slowdown on that side of the metro.
  • East Houston is benefiting from increased building in the petrochemical sector.
  • Some indicators point to a slowdown in Houston multifamily activity.

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At a recent West Houston Economic Development Summit, 2016 was introduced as a year where the downturn in the oil industry taints the economic outlook for several other sectors of the Houston economy. It’s not ready to go bust, but the sinking feeling is definitely now shared pain. Based largely on the work of the University of Houston’s Bauer Institute for Regional Forecasting, economic prognostications called for the pain to seep into 2017 in some ways, too. Like a virus spreading among the non-inoculated, the slowdown will, the Institute says, ding retail, commercial and residential real estate. Bill Gilmer, the Institute’s director, even went so far as to call the slump a moderate, localized recession. According to a report on the Houston energy sector released by the Institute at the end of last year,  three factors currently shape the outlook for Houston’s economy. First, Houston benefits from a strong U.S. economy that supports many jobs throughout the m...