The Houston Suburbs are Losing their Affordability

In the sprawling Houston region, homeownership in the city’s urban core always came with a hefty price tag. People who couldn’t afford that option could trade proximity for affordability by living in nearby suburbs.

But as home prices and mortgage rates continue to rise, the suburbs within Harris County are losing their reputation as an affordable haven for renters, according to Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research — one example of how access to homeownership and quality housing has become more difficult during the pandemic.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research and Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released recently their annual reports on the state of housing in the Houston area and the nation. The reports showed that while current home owners have seen their equity rise due to skyrocketing real estate prices, renters face rising rents that are outpacing wage growth.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors, in 2011 the median-priced home in the suburbs of Clear Lake and Jersey Village was $162,000 to $175,000. Now they go for $300,000 to $317,000.

Stephen Sherman, a researcher at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, said that people will have to continue moving farther and farther out from the city center to find affordable housing. This will affect traffic congestion and flooding patterns.

Due to the fact that the median home price in Harris County is on track to soon surpass that in Houston, according to the Kinder report, it is becoming harder and harder to find a home priced below $200,000 nowadays.

According to a study released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, there are four million renters in the United States who have been priced out of purchasing a home over the past year. Dan McCue, a Senior Research Associate at the Center, explained that this is a concern because if the door is closing on homeownership, it would lock in some significant inequities in housing.

The housing market is in crisis due to a combination of factors, including chronic housing shortages that have existed for years, greater demand for housing as millennial generations reach home-buying age, and rising construction costs. Because of this, house prices are higher than income; the fact that pandemics disrupt supply chains across the country exacerbates the problem.

Wrapping Up

It is no secret that housing in Houston has seen some drastic changes over the last couple years. The average listing price of a home in Houston has doubled the national average. That is great news for homeowners. But that doesn't help first time home buyers, or those seeking affordability. It has been no secret that to find more affordable, great school districts, and a great lifestyle, one might need to get farther away from the city. Luckily The Woodlands is set up as a new "Downtown", allowing families and individuals to live 30-60 minutes from there, and still find the lifestyle they desire.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you are thinking about relocating to Houston or the Houston suburbs, I hope you reach out to me. I would love to be your REALTOR® and your resource.


We are so happy you found our little corner of the interwebs. We look forward to y'all reaching out to us. We love to answer questions and welcome them. Recently we created some local maps, and you can download those by clicking the image/link above. Below, you will find an index of some very helpful information to assist you in learning more about the Houston suburbs. If you are relocating to our neck of the woods, we hope you reach out to us, because we would love to help you by being your local realtor and friend. Thoughtfully written for you. Hugs, Jo.

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If you are overwhelmed..

Now if you are feeling overwhelmed on where you should plant your roots, I would love to talk to you. You can schedule a call with me by click this link: or just send us an email: [email protected]. There are some amazing communities all over the Houston suburbs. In this post,, I deep dive into all the different suburbs/neighborhoods that you might want to consider, and why. There are many resources here, so please reach out if you are curious what to look at next! Thank you for trusting us.

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