• Communities that are part of this year's tour are primarily located in Fulshear/Katy, Fort Bend and adjacent to the Woodlands.
  • Johnson Development expects to sell 10 percent fewer homes this year.
  • Demand for new homes in Katy and Fulshear is being negatively impacted by the oil industry.

When the height of the new home sales season rolls around, one Houston homebuilder significantly ups its marketing campaign.

During April, Johnson Development hosts its annual “Houston’s Largest Home Tour,” which aims to showcase and sell hundreds of its homes spread throughout the metro.

Next month homes at 11 of its master-planned communities will be open daily from either 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or noon to 6 p.m. The monthly “tour” also includes a number of community events including concerts, wine tastings, farmers markets and a crawfish boil.

Hosting the tour represents a significant financial investment, but it’s well worth the effort and expense, according to Doug Goff, chief operating officer of Johnson Development.

“In the prior years we’ve done this we’ve noticed our traffic and sales increased significantly,” he said, adding the efforts in April often equate to sales in May and further down the road.

Communities that are part of this year’s tour are primarily located in Fulshear/Katy, Fort Bend and adjacent to the Woodlands.

New Houston home sales insight 

Goff pointed to Fort Bend as a market that remains strong for new home sales, while the Katy/Fulshear markets are being impacted with respects to the oil industry. Additionally, demand for homes adjacent to the Woodlands still exists.

Currently the homebuilder is seeing the most demand for “affordable” new homes, ones priced at $400,000 and below. However, “it’s hard to offer homes in the $200s,” Goff noted.

Demand is lowest for homes priced from $500,000 to $1 million, while custom homes, those typically priced at more than $1 million, are still selling.

Last year Johnson Development sold 2,550 new homes, which was only down six percent when compared to 2014. This year Goff expects the company’s home sales to total roughly 2,300 or be down roughly 10 percent.

As a metro he expects Houston to also experience a roughly 10 percent decline in new home sales.

Email Erik Pisor

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