No one knew what to expect would happen to the real estate market following Hurricane Harvey. Some homes were taken off the market to repair or rebuild. Some homes were listed as there was seen to be a relative shortage of available homes, so there was an opportunity to sell at that point. February saw year-over-year increases in sales and pricing, and the luxury market returned to a sense of stability that had been lacking during the previous three months. You may read all about the latest market stats here.

By the time you read this, Houston City Council will likely have voted on proposed changes to the floodplain ordinance. For example, the proposal would require all new buildings in the 100-year and 500-year floodplains to be raised 12 to 24 inches. You may read more about the changes here.

The Fair Housing Act, which was actually part of the Civil Rights Acts of 1968, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on April 11, 1968. When first enacted, the Act only prohibited discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, and national origin. In later years, sex, familial status and disability were added on the federal level. Some states and local governments have expanded the protected classes beyond those outlined at the federal level. To read more about the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, you may click here.

Did you know that HAR launched Commercial Gateway in 2001? HAR is always ahead of the curve. Keeping up with that, CommGate has relaunched with Catylist, which is a nationwide platform and allows for the search of commercial properties across the country. There are lots of great new benefits, which you may read about here. Our commercial real estate market continues to be an important part of our economy and the association.

When consumers are surveyed, photos almost always rank at or near the top of the list when asked what matters most when looking at a real estate listing online. At the same time, photos continue to be the source of comment on many websites. The main thing to remember is that the photos must be a true representation of the property. You must also have taken the photos yourself or have a release from the copyright holder stating that you may use the photos (more on that next month). You may read about retouching or editing images here.

Until next month,


Kenya Burrell-VanWormer
2018 HAR Chair