Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, with a census-estimated 2016 population of 2.303 million within a land area of 599.59 square miles (1,552.9 km2). It is the largest city in the Southern United States, and the seat of Harris County. Located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, it is the principal city of the Greater Houston metro area, which is the fifth-most populated MSA in the United States.
Houston was founded on August 30, 1836, near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen's Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had commanded and won at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901 and Houston's replacement of Galveston as Texas's primary port following a devastating hurricane, has induced continual surges in the city's population. In the mid-20th century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality within its city limits (after New York City). The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. Nicknamed the "Space City", Houston is a global city, with strengths in business, international trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, sports, technology, education, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse city in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U.S. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
A total commission of 6.0% is typically asked for by “full service” Agents working for the big national real estate firms in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas. 70% of Sellers list with the first Agent they speak to, and we find that most Sellers who agree to pay a full 6.0% commission do not realize that real estate commissions are NEGOTIABLE!
The national average total real estate commission in 2015 was 5.26% *
In Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, you will find the following real estate commissions charged*:
Typical Asking Commission: 6.0%
Competitive Commission: 5.0%-5.5%%
Very Competitive Commission: 4.5%-4.99%
The median existing single-family home price in the South rose 6.7%, to $229,400, in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the the second quarter of 2016. Median sales prices for existing homes in the state's Major Metropolitan Areas are as follows:
In the State of Texas, median home prices are as follows*:
|Metro Area||Median Sales Price||% of Annual Change|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land||$235,600||8.40%|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels||$222,600||5.70%|
Real Estate Commissions are split between the listing Agent (who works for you to sell your home) and what will be offered on the MLS to any Agent that brings a Buyer to buy your home. In a typical 6% total commission, the listing Broker is paid 3% and 3% is offered on the MLS to all Agents working with Buyers (so they can see what they will earn if they bring their Buyer to your home and complete the sale).
In a competitive commission structure, ranging from 5% to 5.5%, the listing Agent agrees to a listing commission of 2% to 2.5%, and they will recommend that they offer, on the MLS, a commission of 2.5% to 3.0% to the Buyer’s Agent. Your Agent will usually tell you that if they offer less than 2.5% on the MLS that your home “won’t be shown”. This makes sense, in that, all things being equal, the Buyer’s Agent will want as big a payday as possible when they find the right home for their client. This is also especially true if market conditions favor Buyers in a so-called “Buyer’s Market” (high inventory levels in a period of unstable prices).
When you meet with your listing Agent, also remember that, unless they are a “Broker/Owner”, they will have to split their commission with their employing Broker. High producing Agents can work up to getting 90% of the listing commission from their Broker, but typically less experienced Agents may only receive 50% of the listing commission.
At ListingBidder.com, we first negotiate on your behalf a competitive real estate commission structure with HIGHLY EXPERIENCED, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Agents who know your LOCAL market (even YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD); each ready to bid for your business. These Agents are not just ordinary Agents as many of them are broker/owners and they have the best ability to negotiate their commissions and be competitive, in part because they do not have to share their listing commission with the brokerage firm. This is a direct benefit to you and will save you thousands of dollars in real estate commission fees over the typical fees in Texas.
Sellers who are also buying a home in the same local market have a volume discount advantage. ListingBidder can use this opportunity to negotiate an even better real estate commission rate fee on the sale of your home because the Agent will be more willing to give a deeper discount (a very competitive rate) knowing there is additional commission being earned on the purchase of another home. Be sure to check the box that you are also buying a home locally to receive these better rates.
Click here to see your savings in just 24 hours…
Greater Houston is the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the country. In the Houston region, non-Hispanic whites make up 38 percent of the population, Hispanics 36 percent, African-Americans 17 percent and Asians 9 percent.
Houston is multicultural, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries, as well as being a major port city. Over 90 languages are spoken in the city. It has among the youngest populations in the nation, partly due to an influx of immigrants into Texas. An estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants reside in the Houston area.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, whites made up 51% of Houston's population; 26% of the total population was non-Hispanic Whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 25% of Houston's population. American Indians made up 0.7% of the population. Asians made up 6% (1.7% Vietnamese, 1.3% Chinese, 1.3% Indian, 0.9% Pakistani, 0.4% Filipino, 0.3% Korean, 0.1% Japanese), while Pacific Islanders made up 0.1%. Individuals from some other race made up 15.2% of the city's population, of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.3% of the city. At the 2000 Census, 1,953,631 people inhabited the city, and the population density was 3,371.7 people per square mile (1,301.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.3% White, 25.3% African American, 6.3% Asian, 0.7% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.5% from some other race, and 3.1% from two or more races. In addition, Hispanics made up 37.4% of Houston's population, while non-Hispanic Whites made up 30.8%, down from 62.4% in 1970.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,000, and for a family was $40,000. Males had a median income of $32,000 versus $27,000 for females. The per capita income was $20,000. About 19% of the population and 16% of families were below the poverty line. Of the total population, 26% of those under the age of 18 and 14% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 73% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 50% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant, and 19% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. while 20% claim no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 7% of the population
|Black or African American||23.7%||28.1%||25.7%,|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||43.7%||27.6%||11.3%|
Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. Renewable energy sources—wind and solar—are also growing economic bases in the city. The Houston Ship Channel is also a large part of Houston's economic base. Because of these strengths, Houston is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network and global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The Houston area is the top U.S. market for exports, surpassing New York City in 2013, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. In 2012, the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land area recorded $110.3 billion in merchandise exports. Petroleum products, chemicals, and oil and gas extraction equipment accounted for roughly two-thirds of the metropolitan area's exports last year. The top three destinations for exports were Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.
The Houston area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment. Much of its success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy ship channel, the Port of Houston. In the United States, the port ranks first in international commerce and 10th among the largest ports in the world. Unlike most places, high oil and gasoline prices are beneficial for Houston's economy, as many of its residents are employed in the energy industry. Houston is the beginning or end point of numerous oil, gas, and products pipelines:
The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land MSA's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 was $489 billion, making it the fourth-largest of any metropolitan area in the United States and larger than Austria's, Venezuela's, or South Africa's GDP. Only 26 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product (GAP). In 2010, mining (which consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas in Houston) accounted for 26.3% of Houston's GAP up sharply in response to high energy prices and a decreased worldwide surplus of oil production capacity, followed by engineering services, health services, and manufacturing.
The University of Houston System's annual impact on the Houston area's economy equates to that of a major corporation: $1.1 billion in new funds attracted annually to the Houston area, $3.13 billion in total economic benefit, and 24,000 local jobs generated. This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the U.H. System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout the state of Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5% of graduates are still living and working in the region.
In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes magazine. Foreign governments have established 92 consular offices in Houston's metropolitan area, the third-highest in the nation. Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here with 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations. Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.
In 2008, Houston received top ranking on Kiplinger's Personal Finance Best Cities of 2008 list, which ranks cities on their local economy, employment opportunities, reasonable living costs, and quality of life. The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to Forbes magazine. In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters, first for Forbes magazine's Best Cities for College Graduates, and first on their list of Best Cities to Buy a Home. In 2010, the city was rated the best city for shopping, according to Forbes.
In 2012, the city was ranked number one for paycheck worth by Forbes and in late May 2013, Houston was identified as America's top city for employment creation.
In 2013, Houston was identified as the number one U.S. city for job creation by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics after it was not only the first major city to regain all the jobs lost in the preceding economic downturn, but also after the crash, more than two jobs were added for every one lost. Economist and vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership Patrick Jankowski attributed Houston's success to the ability of the region's real estate and energy industries to learn from historical mistakes. Furthermore, Jankowski stated that "more than 100 foreign-owned companies relocated, expanded or started new businesses in Houston" between 2008 and 2010, and this openness to external business boosted job creation during a period when domestic demand was problematically low. Also in 2013, Houston again appeared on Forbes' list of Best Places for Business and Careers.