National news sources continue reporting on Texas’ strong housing market, but not everyone is surprised.

In an article in yesterday’s U.S. News & World Report, Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines said the state’s recovery wasn’t entirely unexpected, pointing out that Texas didn’t suffer as severe a recession or housing bust as some other states.
“We started [the recession] later, and it didn’t go as deep,” Gaines said, adding that while Texas saw its share of subprime lending, the fact that the unemployment rate here wasn’t as high as in other states helped lessen the housing market damage caused by the collapse of bad mortgages.
“We didn’t have the financial leverage,” Gaines says. “We had subprime lending, but that works as long as people have jobs, so you had these offsetting factors.”
Gaines also attributed the market’s strength to the lower-than-average property values in Texas’ major metro areas.
“We had median prices go up, but we didn’t have a true bubble,” Gaines said. “Even now you can’t find a new single-family home in most major metro areas for under $200,000. That’s not the case in Houston or Dallas.”

Source: U.S. News & World Report