Despite the negative news surrounding the real estate industry, now continues to be a great time to buy a home in Texas, said Dr. Mark Dotzour yesterday, speaking before the Beaumont Board of Realtors.

Dotzour, the chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said the states’s housing market should thrive in 2009 thanks to affordable housing and steady job growth.

However, he also told the group to expect a decline in new home construction this year, partly because more new homes could inflate the market, causing existing home values to decline.

Although the latest report from California-based foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac showed an 81 percent increase in the number of homeowners facing foreclosure last year, Dotzour said he does not expect foreclosures to become an issue in Texas.

“Our home prices have been going up,” he said, “and when your house is going up, you’d rather sell it then give it back to the bank.”

Source: Beaumont Enterprise