Home to one of the biggest economies in the United States, Texas is proving to be a strong choice for Canadian investors looking to add some U.S. exposure to their portfolios. The Lone Star State is the base of operations for six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 121 of the 1,000 largest public and private companies in the U.S. are based in Texas. The state is currently ranked in top spot in the U.S. for economic climate and if Texas were a sovereign country it would be the 12th largest economy in the world by GDP.
In the Texaplex region, which comprises Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, development and infrastructure projects are also booming, the real estate market is thriving and yet prices remain favourable for investors. “Houston has extremely affordable housing, which allows investors to charge affordable rental rates,” explains Charlene Aulds, Director of Sales at Lennar. “Houston also is one of the top 10 metro areas for immigration in the US and one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country. The Port of Houston ranks number one in the US and tenth largest worldwide.”
According to September’s MLS Report, Houston’s lease market yielded a strong performance: single-family home leases rose 5.4% to $1,764. “Housing prices were up 1.3% in September in a year-on-year comparison. Investors believe it is a prime time to put their funds into properties in such a reasonably priced city,” Aulds says. “Investors interested in Houston should consider schools, rental rates, freeway access and the age and warranty on the home. There are a variety of good management property agencies in Houston allowing investors to manage their investment from afar.”
In order to achieve the best possible return on investment, Aulds advises investors to focus on new homes priced under $300,000.
“The strongest areas in the higher price points are in Hwy 249 and Hwy 290, which is our north west corridor, “ she says. “The south west Sugar Land Area is also strong and the Clear Lake area south is starting to see interest as well. Houston was able to remain relatively flat year on year even though the oil industry has been unstable. I believe as oil prices stabilize, the Houston housing market will become even stronger.”
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