Coming off of a record year for home sales in the greater Houston area, it was somewhat inevitable that we would experience a return to a more normalized market. With continued low inventory and lower oil prices, the economists we surveyed anticipate slower growth, but not a decline in price for most Houston’s homes.

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Bellaire

Founded in the early 1900’s on what was originally William Marsh Rice’s (Rice University founder) ranch, Bellaire was originally an agricultural trading center. It soon became a residential area and was connected downtown to Main Street by a trolley.

This city within the city just south of the Galleria and west of the Medical Center, has its own zip code (77401), four parks and is made up of many neighborhoods, including Braeburn Country Club Estates, Bellaire Place and Bellaire Oaks, Pin Oak Estates, Mulberry Manor and Westmoreland Farms.  Bellaire’s government is made up of a mayor and six city council members.  There are three private schools and the public schools are in the Houston Independent School District, including the highly acclaimed Bellaire High School.

The average home is 42 years old, but with all of the new construction being built that number is rapidly decreasing.  According to HARMLS, 226 homes sold in 2014 with a low of $250,000, a high of $3,000,000 and an average of $944,000 ($260/SF).

David M Young has been representing buyers and sellers of residential real estate throughout all areas of Houston for 13 years.  He spent his childhood in Memorial, has lived for 14 years in Upper Kirby and has offices with Coldwell Banker in Bellaire as team leader for Young Realty Group.

 

Highland Village/Afton Oaks -  by Laurie Personette Null

Houstonians know the value of living “inside the loop” given its central location within Houston’s sprawling metropolis. And while The Galleria is Houston’s most iconic shopping center, Highland Village (just inside the West Loop) has emerged as a premier shopping destination featuring a broad array of national retailers, local boutiques, and a Central Market, as well as restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining. It is adjacent to established, affluent neighborhoods such as River Oaks as well as Greenway Plaza/Upper Kirby.  Residents living in these neighborhoods enjoy tree-line streets and expansive yards, while benefiting from the easy access to all of the shopping, dining and entertainment this area has to offer. With surface streets like Westheimer, West Alabama, Weslayan and Richmond, and easy freeway access to the 610 Loop and US 59, those living near Highland Village also have direct access to major employment and entertainment centers throughout Houston.

Since the 1980s, the Personette Group has worked with developers throughout Texas to market and sell their high-rise, mid-rise, loft, single-family and townhome developments. Their experience spans new construction (for sale and lease), repositioned properties and conversion properties, with an emphasis on urban properties.

Heights by Kelly Gurevich

The Houston Heights has one of the richest histories in town was established during the late 1880’s and was master planned to accommodate both work and living. This booming area is located between TC Jester, I-45, I-10 and 610.

The rich culture, eclectic local businesses, historic homes and one-of-a-kind shops have made it one of the most desired areas to reside. It’s revered for its sense of individuality, quirkiness and open-armed acceptance for the culinary creative.

In 2013, Houston Heights was named one of the top 10 best big city neighborhoods by CNN Money. Residents are regularly seen running or walking along the tree-lined Heights Boulevard which features a 60 foot wide esplanade. Architecturally, the Heights boasts classic craftsman style homes with more contemporary new construction sprinkled throughout. A good percentage of new construction pays homage to the craftsman style and helps maintain and enhance the unique flavor that is the Houston Heights. Currently, the median real estate price is $363,845 and is comprised mostly of homes built in the early 1900’s.

Houston Heights was named one of the top 10 best big city neighborhoods by CNN Money.

Neighboring areas of Garden Oaks and Oak Forest are on the north side of 610 between Hwy. 290, North Main and Pinemont sits Oak Forest/Garden Oaks.  This area features a large number of quaint cottages, ranch style homes, charming bungalows, as well as new construction.  With the median real estate price at $309,430, it’s slightly less expensive than neighboring Houston Heights, but still has the community feel that makes the area so popular.

Kelly Gurevich is a top producer with Ross Dunn Realty Inc. and is a long time Heights resident.

Close In Memorial by David M. Young

Larger lot sizes that are enjoyed by the Memorial Villages, but is part of the City of Houston, and has some of the most expensive homes in Houston.  Its prime neighborhoods include Sherwood Forest, Bayou Woods, Stablewood, Winton Woods, Pinewood Estates, Longwoods, Saddlebrook and Huntleigh.  There are several high end patio home communities, two condo towers and a large section of townhomes built in the 1970s, but the area is defined by the large wooded lots on which we can still find some ranch style homes from the 1950s and 1960s, mixed in with the grand estates.

MLS records show 17 homes sold in Close-In Memorial in 2014, with a low of $1,750,000, a high of $6,900,000, and an average of $2,750,000 ($450/SF).  After several years of rapid appreciation, half-acre lots are now selling in the $1.2 to $2 million range, and 1 to 5 acre lots on the prime streets are selling for over $3 million per acre.  This data is not complete, as some of the most expensive properties in this area do not get listed in the MLS.

David M Young is team leader for Young Realty Group and has been representing buyers and sellers of residential real estate throughout all areas of Houston for 13 years.


Memorial Villages by Sharon Brier

Out of 56 homes for sale  in the exclusive Memorial Villages of Bunker Hill, Hedwig Village, Hunters Creek and Piney Point,  22 were  new construction on lots as small as 8000 square feet and as large as an acre plus.  New construction starts at $1,995,000 to as high as $5,995,000 for a home on an acre.   Most of the homes are priced between three and four million and on a half acre.  Eight homes are over  7,000 square feet.  Prices per square feet vary depend on the lot size, location and shape of the property.  Lots start at 1,395,000 for an half acre to $15,500,000 for an unique sub drivable  three acres on Buffalo Bayou and a creek.  As of mid February, 19 homes were pending. Entry level properties that will go to the same schools as these Village properties can be found in patio homes surrounded by the villages.

Last year 13 new homes were sold with an average of 7000 square feet on an half acre.  Most of the new homes sold between 400-500 per sq foot. One exceptionally large home (over 12,000 square feet) with a 14 car garage sold for $8,750,000 and was on an acre.  The largest sale last year was $11,980,000 for a 1994 home on two + acres.  Eight solds this year are all resales .  Last year at the same time period seven resales sold with the average price under $3 million and price per square foot under $400.

Sharon Brier with Greenwood King Properties has lived in the Memorial Villages since 1978 and has sold homes since 1980.

West Memorial by Nicole Christensen - Rembach


The relatively new City Centre–Town & Country is conveniently located at the Sam Houston Tollway between Memorial Drive and I-10. Houstonians will travel from all over to spend a day in this vibrant area. With the Memorial City complex at Gessner, visitors and residents have access to the popular Memorial City mall, the world class Memorial Hermann Medical Center, the new Westin hotel and the growing business centers, all developed by Midway Corporation. The growth though is well managed by the established neighborhoods that keep the idyllic feeling of the area alive.

One major lure to home owners are the two public high schools – Memorial and Stratford – both ranked in the top schools nationally. Whereas residents in many other areas feel the need to spend additional money to enroll their children in private schools, this is not the case for most who live here. Memorial High School has earned an especially prestigious reputation as being one of America’s Best High Schools.

Sandalwood, Frostwood, Wooded Hollow, Memorial Bend, Rustling Oaks, Gaywood, Yorkshire and Wilchester are just some of the time honored subdivisions sprinkled throughout. For the last six months, 174 homes sold in the area and 154 of them were listed at $500,000 and above, with the highest sales price being $2,950,000. The average price of all homes sold was $843,941 and the median price was $746,500 with an average days on market of 34.

Nicole grew up near the Town & Country area, attending SBISD schools. During her years there, she witnessed the current vibrant growth in the area. Nicole is an agent with Wendy Cline Properties


RIVER OAKS by David M. Young


There are neighborhoods some consider within the River Oaks area (Royden Oaks, Oak Estates, Avalon Place, Glendower Court, The Huntingdon, Upper Kirby), but there is only one true River Oaks – undisputedly Houston’s premier subdivision.  With a buy-in price of $1 million and previous non-MLS sales in excess of $30 million, this genteel neighborhood is home to many of Houston’s wealthiest families.  Established in the 1920s by Houston’s famous Hogg family and anchored by the exclusive River Oaks Country Club, the neighborhood was primarily built in the20s and 30s.  With about 1,300 home, the subdivision is roughly bound by Willowick, Buffalo Bayou, Westheimer and Shepherd.

The magnificent four acre Rienzi on Kirby Dr, which is part of the Museum of Fine Arts, is an annual stop on the popular Azalea Trail sponsored every March by the River Oaks Garden Club.  There are no commercial properties in this deed restricted subdivision, but the area is served well by the high end retail shops and fine restaurants in Upper Kirby and in the River Oaks Shopping Center along West Gray.

Many of the highest priced homes are not listed in MLS, but according to HAR MLS, there were 54 sales of single family homes in 2014, with a low of $980,000, a high of $7,200,000 and an average of $2,841,000 ($517/SF).

David M. Young is an Upper Kirby resident and team leader at Young Realty Group.

TANGLEWOOD

In the 1940’s the William G. Farrington Company chose 750 acres of farmland in Houston to develop a new residential area.   By 1949 the original Tanglewood area had 32 lots and seven one-story ranch style homes.  Today there are roughly 1,200 single family homes with lot sizes ranging from approximately 8,000 square feet up to 2+ acres.  Tanglewood is a beautiful neighborhood with a mixture of the original ranch style homes and the new homes of estate stature.

The convenient location of  Tanglewood allows access to all of Houston’s best shopping amenities and restaurants in the Galleria and Uptown Park,  Houston Country Club, The Houstonian, and Memorial Park are just a short drive away.

As a residential Realtor who has lived in the area and sold properties over the past 40 years, Weldon Rigby has experienced the changes and growth of Tanglewood, one of Houston’s finest neighborhoods.

Single Family Homes “For Sale” in the last 12 months

  • Active properties for sale:  22

  • Price range:  $987,500. - $5,195,000.

  • Average sale price:  $3,079,227.

  • Average square footage:  6,449


Single Family Homes “Sold” in the last 12 months

  • Total properties sold:  63

  • Price range:  $535,000. - $5,195,000.

  • Average sold price:  $2,177,166.

  • Average square footage:  5,874


Lots for “Sale” in the last 12 months

  • Total lots for sale:  6

  • Price range:  $1,399,000. - $ 3,250,000.

  • Average sale price:  $1,956,000.

  • Average square footage:  25,319


Lots “Sold” in the last 12 months

  • Total lots sold:  5

  • Price range:  $785,000. - $1,350,000.

  • Average sold price:  $1,221,000.

  • Average square footage:  18,217

Based on information from the Houston Realtors® Information Service or its MLS for the period (2/21/14) through (2/20/15).

Upper Kirby

In 2001, I moved into a townhouse in Upper Kirby and have seen the transformation over the past 14 years.  The area has blossomed from a deteriorated central area that wasn’t sure if it was part of Montrose or River Oaks, to one of the hottest zip codes in Houston (77098) with its own identity – look for the Olde English style red telephone booths. Home to some of Houston’s finest restaurants and bars, as well as mixed use centers like West Ave, providing retail, offices and luxury apartments at the same location.  Upper Kirby is undergoing  an upheaval, with a focus now on the taming of Westheimer and Shepherd to bring those roads up to the standard set by Kirby Drive.  Power and phone lines are being buried under ground, larger storm drainage pipes are being installed, modern durable pavement will be laid and truly walkable sidewalks with lighting are planned for completion by early 2016.   Learn more about the area and ongoing projects at www.upperkirbydistrict.org.

Residential real estate in Upper Kirby includes a combination of homes from the 1920s and 1930s, townhomes and patio homes from the 1980s onward, and condo towers with Houston’s prime addresses like The Huntingdon, 2727 Kirby and The Regency House.  Here are the sales summaries for 2014:

Single Family - 83 sold in 2014 (40 built within 15 years)

low - $290,000 | high  - $2,130,000 | average - $760,000 ($275/SF)

Townhomes – 38 sold in 2014 (16 built within 15 years)

low - $270,000 | high - $970,000 | average - $465,000 ($198/SF).

Hi-rise Condos – 23 sold in 2014 (11 built within 15 years)

Low - $217,000 | high - $2,053,000 | average - $850,000 ($450/SF)

David M. Young is an Upper kirby resident and team leader at Young Realty Group.


West University

Founded in 1912, the City of West University certainly has its own appeal and amenities including a fabulous recreation center only for West U residents. The roughly 1,200 homes average 3,700 square feet and many are newer homes with the average being built in 1987. it is a city within the City of Houston and with the amenities comes a slightly higher tax rate. The median age is 41 in the West U neighborhoods including Pemberton Place, Belle Court, Monticello, Virginia Court, College View and Sunset Terrace. Average home prices in West U are close to $800,000 and the per square foot cost nearly $300.00.

Popular with physicians, professors and executives, West University Place is a highly sought-after location and community.  Named for its proximity to Rice University, West U. is known as a city within a city. Established in the early 1900’s, West University is bordered by Bellaire, Bissonnet, Kirby Drive and Community. Incorporated since 1924, West University has its own Mayor and City Council along with its own fire and police departments.  Paired with one of the top elementary schools in the area and ample green space, West U. is an ideal place to call home.

Real estate in West University continues to sell at a rapid pace with multiple biddings, in many cases.   Homes range from lot value teardowns to multi-million dollar new construction.  The advantage of location  competitive pricing and community amenities add to the quick sale of homes in the area.

2015 ACTIVE PROPERTIES PENDING AVG LOT SIZE AVG SQ FT PRICE RANGE MEDIAN PRICE

West University 53 24 7184 SQ FT. 3900 $669,000 -$2.99M $1.59M - $3.07M 2014 SOLD

AVG SQ FT AVG LOT SIZE PRICE RANGE MEDIAN SALE PRICE MEDIAN LIST PRICE

West University 206 3443 6437 $285,000 -$3.44M $1.15M $1.17M

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Surge Homes - Beauchamp Single Family