Houston might not have always been at the top of the list when it comes to booming cities. Well-known metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. have long taken those top spots. But now, it looks like things are changing in Houston’s favor. Several things are contributing to Houston’s thriving economy and retail markets and it looks like there’s no sign of Houston slowing down anytime soon.
Local experts give a lot of credit for the retail boom to a recent increase of investors, domestic and foreign. They have all discovered the potential of the Houston area and have pumped a lot of money in it. There are several different sectors experiencing high investments but one of the most significant is the oil industry. Oil has long been a key factor in Houston’s economy and when it’s doing well, the rest of Houston does well. As a result of Houston’s healthy oil industry many people are finding themselves with more money to spend in the retail area.
The average rate of growth for retail in Houston and the surrounding suburbs is 5% with some areas as high as 9%. As a result of retail growth the average cost of renting retail rate has increased to $14.75 per square foot. Some retail space is renting for as much as $70 per square foot. Major tenants who have come in to the area recently can certainly afford it. Names like HEB, Michael’s, LA Fitness and Monkey Joe’s are just a few of the stores who have been building new locations throughout the area. New retail stores that came to Houston combined with existing ones reported sales transactions that totaled more than $1 billion dollars for the last quarter in 2013.
The retail boom in Houston is also helping to improve the lives of the local community. With the increase of retail stores more than 91,000 jobs have been added to the Houston area. This has helped the local unemployment rate drop from 6.8% to 6.4% in a year. Local home sales have also increased significantly and grown by 28% in just one year which has obviously made an impact on Houston’s real estate market.
The constant flow of investments in the energy industry and the steady housing market in Houston has left local economy experts feeling very optimistic about the future. Local real estate gurus have called Houston a well-kept secret that isn’t a secret anymore. As long as investors remain confident in the area’s performance there’s no reason to believe that Houston’s retail market and economy won’t continue to thrive.