Close to 300 people were at the Sheraton Houston Brookhollow Hotel on January 30 to hear Economist Dr. Luis Torres. Dr. Torres is a Research Economist at Texas A&M Real Estate Center and a leading authority on real estate trends in Texas. His presentation provided insights into the economy not only from the U.S. perspective, but for Texas and the Houston area as well. Citing various studies, indexes, trends and projections, Dr. Torres addressed a variety of segments including real estate, energy, construction, both commercial and residential, and implications of the U.S. monetary policy and governmental decisions.
His presentation began with a statement about “Less growth and more uncertainty. His rational for the uncertainty cited “The fourth-quarter decline in oil prices; trade uncertainty; and volatility in financial markets.” Furthermore, he said “ Expansions don’t die of old age, but they get murdered because of: financial imbalances and the Federal Reserve raising rates too fast. He further stated “The outlook surveys for U.S. and Houston point toward growth slowdown.
Some key presentation points included:
A decline in the Texas Leading index, suggests jobs will grow 1.1 percent this year statewide.
A forecast of 137,000 jobs will be added this year.
Employment in December 2019 will be 12.8 million.
Oil prices dependent on many factors.
Residential construction slowed at the end of 2018.
Housing sales weakened at end of 2018, still a record year in sales.
In 2019, single-family housing sales projected to slowdown.
In 2019, the outlook for commercial real estate is positive.
In summary, he stated that the (1) “the economy is still doing fine. In 2019, it will be slowing but still registering positive growth.” “The housing market will grow in 2019.” “The office market has reached bottom, while retail and ware houses will continue to register strong growth.” “Energy and trade uncertainty will continue.” And finally, “no recession is expected in 2019, how about 2020?”
Jonathan McElvy, President and CEO of McElvy Media Group, was Master of Ceremonies. Through his newspapers and websites, in multiple markets, the organization delivers more than 600,000 print publications each week while reaching more than 100,000 unique visitors on their websites monthly.
Following his presentation, Dr. Torres cited their website, www.recenter.tamu.edu as a great source of information and referenced two additional websites. The first is for the outlook for the Texas economy:
The second is for housing insights:
Thank you everyone who made this event such a great success!
Gold: Adams Insurance, Allegiance Bank, Lane Property Tax Advocates, Members Trust of the Southwest Federal Credit Union, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights, Spirit of Texas Bank
Silver: Allegiance Bank, AmCap Home Loans, BNI-Heights of Professionalism, Frost Bank, Houston Highway Credit Union, Jack Cagle Campaign, Knapp Chevrolet, The May Group, Reibenstein & Associates, Reynolds & Associates