No surprise: Home prices soar in Beaumont-Port Arthur

Published 6:06 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Staff report

A shortage of housing in Port Arthur — the result of massive destruction during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey and related flooding — has driven up residential market prices here, according to one company’s analysis.

CoreLogic, which describes itself as a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, said home prices in Beaumont-Port Arthur increased by 6.5 percent between December 2016 and December 2017.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Irvine, California-based company said December prices in the Beaumont-Port Arthur market rose by 3.3 percent from November to December.

That 12-month increase is consistent with a national price increase of 6.6 percent for the December-to-December timeframe.

Nationally, home prices rose a more modest .5 percent from November to December, the company said.

“The number of homes for sale has remained very low,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Job growth lowered the unemployment rate to 4.1 percent by year’s end, the lowest level in 17 years.

“Rising income and consumer confidence has increased the number of prospective homebuyers. The net result of rising demand and limited for-sale inventory is a continued appreciation in home prices.”

“Home prices continue to rise as a result of aggressive monetary policy, the economic and jobs recovery and a lack of housing stock. The largest price gains during 2017 were in five Western states: California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “As home prices and the cost of originating loans rise, affordability continues to erode, making it more challenging for both first-time buyers and moderate-income families to buy. At this point, we estimate that more than one-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas are overvalued.”

The Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area is No. 130 in the U.S.

Some 5,500 homes were destroyed in the August storm in Jefferson County; some 16,000 sustained major damage.