Houston's Land Market Heats Up

The pandemic has spurred a sharp spike in land sales in the Houston area as more people look to buy homes and developers buy land for industrial uses.

Read Time: 1 minute

October 7, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock

"Some 17,000 acres of tracts greater than about 250 acres have sold across the Houston area since the pandemic began in early 2020, and an additional 19,000 acres are under contract, said veteran land brokers Kirk Laguarta and Duane Heckman of Land Advisors Organization, a brokerage and advisory services company," a sharp increase from the 6,000 acres sold in 2018, reports Katherine Fesser. Demand for land is at its highest in 30 years, with builders starting construction on close to 37,000 new homes in 2020. "Next year, starts are projected to total 35,000 to 40,000."

"Houston’s growth has pushed farther out as roads such as the Grand Parkway and Texas 249 have been constructed. The Houston metropolitan area has grown from 4 million in 1980 to more than 7 million in 2020, or about 100,000 people a year." But "[j]ob losses in sectors that were already troubled before the pandemic such as construction, manufacturing and energy will hinder Houston’s recovery."

Developers are also "buying large tracts for grand-scale industrial buildings along major freeways, as the pandemic pushed more people to shop online." In a city with little land use regulation, industrial uses are now competing with what used to be single-family land.

Monday, October 4, 2021 in Houston Chronicle

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