On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Dan M

> On the whole, up on the north side of Houston, it's cheaper per sq. ft. per
> year to own than to rent.

Dallas seems to have had little, if any, real estate bubble. It has
the lowest peak to current price decline (9%) of any of the 20 cities
tracked by the Case-Shiller index:


If Houston is similar to Dallas, then it probably does not make sense
to talk about a bubble in Houston. Nevertheless, it would have been
more interesting to make your price to rent comparison a few years
ago. As you can see in the link I posted previously, the price to rent
ratios in the country as a whole have come down a lot recently, making
the buy or rent decision closer. The ratios appear to still be
somewhat elevated, but only by perhaps 10 or 20% above a long-run

I took a look at realtor.com for Houston (although I am not familiar
with the area) and it looks like a typical single family home, about
2000 sq ft, rents for about $1000 per month. A similar home costs
about $120K, so a 30 yr 6% mortgage with 20% down would be around
$600/mo. So  anyone looking to live in the area I was browsing, for
more than a year or two, would probably want to buy. Especially
considering the government's ill-conceived tax credit for first-time
buyers this year (heads up to anyone interested: it ends Dec 1, 2009
not December 31).


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