Markets & Economy

Land sales in high-end Houston developments dropped in 2015

Overall market doing okay, luxury builder Howard Hughes Corp. showing softness
  • Howard Hughes Corp. communities The Woodlands and Bridgeland showed big drops in sales from 2014 to 2015.
  • According to the Houston Association of Realtors, the mid-priced home segment showed gains.
  • Luxury communities are feeling the pinch and keeping a watchful eye on their land inventories going forward.

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In two Houston communities, an annual report from their owner reveals a 44 percent slippage in sales from 2014 to 2015. The Howard Hughes Corp., owner of The Woodlands and Bridgeland, blames the drop on the softening local economy. But in the January report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), the start of 2016 showed strong for the metro overall. Sales were only about 2 percent off the January record, despite the ongoing difficulties in the energy industry. Single-family homes priced between $150,000 and $250,000 saw year-over-year sales increase by nearly 9 percent. Total property sales across all price points remained flat. The trend of buyers settling into this one price point seems to be holding. But, obviously, higher-end new home builders are feeling that pinch. The Dallas-based Hughes Corp.’s  report said that uncertainty is a weight on its bottom line.  “An uncertain economic climate in the greater Houston area due to the decline in oil prices ...