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Housing Recovery to Pick Up Steam in 2016

In Buying a Home, Home Upgrades, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, new homes houston energy corridor, Selling your home on November 5, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Steady employment and economic growth, pent-up demand, affordable home prices and attractive mortgage rates will keep the housing market on a gradual upward trend in 2016. However, persistent headwinds related to shortages and availability of lots and labor, along with rising materials prices are impeding a more robust recovery, according to economists who participated in a recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Fall Construction Forecast Webinar.
“This recovery is all about jobs,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “If people can get good jobs that pay decent incomes, the housing market will continue to move forward.”
The good news, Crowe added, is that total U.S. employment of 142 million is now well above the previous peak of 138 million that occurred in 2008.
The one caveat is that job growth has been concentrated heavily in the service sector, which tends to pay lower wages than goods producing jobs.
Meanwhile, home equity has nearly doubled since 2011 and now stands at $12.5 trillion.
“The single biggest asset in most people’s portfolio is the home they own,” says Crowe. “That’s important because the primary purchasers of new homes are the sellers of existing homes. The more equity they have, the more comfortable they feel about purchasing a new home.”
And while mortgage interest rates are expected to rise over the near-term, averaging 4.5 percent in 2016 and 5.5 percent in 2017, Crowe says this is not expected to have an impact on the housing recovery. “As the economy gets better, job and wage growth should keep pace. So even though mortgage rates will rise, they will still be low by historical standards and very affordable.”

Supply Headwinds
Crowe noted several factors that are hindering a more robust recovery. Citing an NAHB survey of its members, 13 percent of builders reported the cost and availability of labor was a significant problem in 2011 and that concern jumped to 61 percent in 2014.
About one-fifth of builders shared the same concerns regarding lots in 2011 and that ratio shot up to 58 percent in 2014.
Concerns over building materials stood at 58 percent among builders in 2014, up from 33 percent in 2011.

Single-Family Continues to Post Gains
Turning to the forecast, NAHB is projecting 719,000 single-family starts in 2015, up 11 percent from the 647,000 units produced last year. Single-family production is projected to increase an additional 27 percent in 2016 to 914,000 units.
On the multifamily side, production ran at 354,000 units last year, slightly above the 331,000 level that is considered a normal level of production. Multifamily starts are expected to rise 9 percent to 387,000 units this year and post a modest 3 percent decline to 378,000 units in 2016.
Residential remodeling activity is forecasted to increase 6.8 percent in 2015 over last year and rise an additional 6.1 percent in 2016.

Suburbs are Still Hot
Looking at home buyer preferences, Trulia Housing Economist Ralph McLaughlin says that contrary to popular belief, millennials prefer to own a home in the suburbs rather than rent in the cities.
“Many believe that home buyers are bucking the trend of previous generations in that they want to live in urban areas and want to rent,” says McLaughlin. “What we are finding from our surveys is just the opposite. Among millennial renters, almost 90 percent say they eventually want to purchase a home. That is significantly higher than Gen Xers, who were hurt by the recession, and quite a bit more than current baby boomer renters, who are at 40 percent.”
However, an overwhelming majority of millennials, who are still starting households and paying off college debt, say it will be at least two years before they are ready to buy.
Roughly half of all Americans prefer to live in suburban areas, about a quarter prefer urban areas and just over 20 percent prefer rural communities, according to a Trulia survey conducted last November.
“As we get into the recovery, suburban areas are growing faster than urban areas,” says McLaughlin. “That is a sign that the urbanization trend we saw start to happen at the beginning of the recovery was more of a blip rather than a new rule.”
Moreover, the percentage of households living in urban neighborhoods in 2013 was lower among nearly all age groups compared to 2000.
“So again, this shows there really isn’t an urbanization trend among households,” says McLaughlin.
Over the past five years, the share of searches on Trulia in suburban-urban zip code areas has held fairly constant, at roughly a four-to-one-ratio for suburban searches.
“Home buyers are saying they prefer modern and modest sized homes in the suburbs with amenities,” he says, adding that 44 percent of Americans say they want to live in a house between 1,400 and 2,600 square feet.
Recovery in All Regions, but Pace Varies

Delving below the national numbers, NAHB Senior Economist Robert Denk says that housing market conditions are improving in all regions, but the pace of recovery continues to vary by state and region.
“We’ve gotten to the point in the recovery where we no longer have problems that came with the housing bust,” says Denk. “It now is really a matter of housing markets reconnecting to the fundamental drivers, and that is employment. Production has been rebounding in all regions, prices have been moving up and new foreclosures are back to more normal levels.”

Using the 2000-2003 period as a healthy benchmark when single-family starts averaged 1.3 million units on an annual basis, NAHB is projecting that single-family production, which bottomed out at an average 27 percent of normal production in early 2009, will rise to 74 percent of normal by the fourth quarter of 2016 and climb to 91 percent of normal by the end of 2017. Single-family production currently stands at 53 percent of normal activity.
The hardest hit areas during the downturn were a combination of the bubble states – California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida – and the industrial Midwest. The bubble states had the most excessive price and production spikes, while the problems in the Midwest were more related to fundamental economic weakness.
The most successful recoveries are happening now in the energy states, including North Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Montana and Louisiana.
Other states exhibiting strong employment and housing growth include South Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, Idaho, Oregon and North Carolina.
In another way of looking at the long road back to normal, by the end of 2017, the top 40 percent of states will be back to 99 percent or more of normal production levels, compared to the bottom 20 percent, which will still be below 73 percent.

“Keep in mind that with all of these buckets, the numbers keep getting higher,” says Denk. “There is broad-based improvement across the country.”

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Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at (713) 249-4177  or visit  or


CononcoPhilips new office space Houston’s Energy Corridor

In Eldridge Parkway, Employers Houston Energy Corridor, Employers in West Houston, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Local Business, Oil and Gas companies in Houston, Relocating to West Houston, Terry Hershey Park, West Houston on May 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm

ConocoPhillips has committed to an office lease  in Houston, agreeing to occupy 850,000 square feet in a pair of new office buildings under construction  in Houston’s  Energy Corridor by Trammell Crow Co. (TCC) and its financial partner, Principal Real Estate Investors.  The two buildings are located at the southwest corner of Interstate 10 and North Eldridge Parkway in the heart of Houston’s  Energy Corridor.

Below – Quoted from

The Energy Center campus will include an active greenspace to provide common outdoor areas for activities and is conveniently located for immediate access to multi-use parks and trails, including Terry Hershey Park, Bear Creek Park and George Bush Park.

Construction on the 20-story, Class AA Energy Center Three office tower began in December 2012 and is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2Q 2015. The 22-story, Energy Center Four, which will feature 600,000 square feet of Class AA office space, is expected to break ground in 4Q 2013 and be ready for ConocoPhillips’ occupancy in 2Q 2016. The campus will include energy efficient features to help achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.

“We are pleased to welcome ConocoPhillips to our new Energy Center Campus, and we believe they will be an excellent addition to the growing energy services community throughout the Energy Corridor,” said Aaron Thielhorn, Managing Director with Trammell Crow Company’s Houston Business Unit. “The quality of both buildings will provide ConocoPhillips the facilities it needs to continue to build upon the Company’s growing North American oil and gas business.”
See more at:

If you are relocating to West Houston and looking for a residential real estate expert in Houston’s Energy Corridor contact me Connie Vallone First Market Realty 713 249 4177. or

NEW LEASE LISTING! 13906 Roxton Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS# 93379504

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm

NEW LEASE LISTING! 13906 Roxton Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS# 93379504

13906 Roxton DriveBeautiful home located in the heart of the Energy Corridor in gated section of Parkway Villages/Charlton Park. Hardwood floors, plantation shutters, crown molding, beautiful landscaping, leaded front door. Open flowing floor plan with island kitchen, huge master retreat downstairs plus three more bedrooms, gameroom and extra room upstairs. Walking distance to Terry Hershey Park, highly rated public and private schools. Washer, dryer, refrigerator and some furniture included.

HAR Link:

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177  or visit  or .

Social Media and Your Real Estate Transaction

In Buying a Home, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Selling your home, Social Media, Uncategorized, West Houston on May 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm
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Buyer or seller beware!   It’s really exciting sometimes frustrating when you finally get or make an offer on your home or a home you want to buy.   So it’s natural to want to share with your friends the exciting news or sometimes vent a frustrating real estate  situation.

What you may not realize is Facebook or any other social media site is NOT the place to do this.   Keep in mind it’s the internet and anyone including the party you are in negotiations with can look you up and find out everything you are sharing.   It’s such a common practice that in my last contract negotiation class the instructor advised us to look up the other parties on Facebook, LinkedIn , Twitter and anywhere else we could find them just see what they are saying.   I can tell from a seller comments how motivated and excited they really are about our offer!

So keep it quiet until after closing and then share with everyone how happy you are and don’t forget refer your agent –

Connie Vallone First Market Realty 713 249 4177   or

NEW LISTING! 14007 Swiss Hill Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS#29561538

In Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Terry Hershey Park, West Houston on March 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm

NEW LISTING! 14007 Swiss Hill Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS#29561538

In the heart of the Energy Corridor walking distance to Terry Hershey Park and Energy Corridor businesses, shops and restaurants. Great floor plan, light and bright with lots of windows and high ceilings just waiting for your personal touch. Huge living area and kitchen, both with sliding doors that lead to the backyard with covered patio and mature trees. Dining area and second bedroom have views to tranquil courtyard. Retreat to your oversized master suite that also features high ceilings and a wall of windows, two walk-in closets. Priced to sell “as is”.

HAR Link:

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston please contact Connie Vallone First Market Realty 713 249 4177  or visit  or

KBR Inc. in Houston Energy Corridor Positive Impact on Home Values

In Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Local Business, West Houston on January 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm
Eldridge Oaks

Eldridge Oaks Office Building

Residential home values in Houston‘s Energy Corridor have remained relatively strong even during the soft real estate market of recent years.   One of the factors that has influenced the consistently strong  home values is that West Houston’s Energy Corridor is home to many of the most powerful oil and gas companies in the world employing thousands of people.  

KBR Inc. in recent years has employed approximately 200 people  in their West Houston location on St. Mary’s lane near Dairy Ashford.  The company has recently signed an 11 year lease for 78000 square feet of office space in the Transwestern Eldridge Oaks building at 1080 Eldridge Parkway with an option to lease an additional 150000 square feet.

In an article published by the Houston Business Journal  Michele West, KBR”S director of real estate services is quoted saying that

 more space is needed in the Energy Corridor as a result of additional project work secured by the oil and gas unit.

The signing of this new lease by KBR  is another positive factor for  home values in Houston’s Energy Corridor. 

If you are considering a move to West Houston contact Connie Vallone  Real Estate Broker with First Market Realty specializing in West Houston and the Energy Corridor.  

Connie Vallone – 713 249 4177 or or