Signorelli Company hosts Valley Ranch Real Estate Kick-off event
February 12, 2016 | Lifelong Learner | The Signorelli Company hosted a real estate kick-off event February 11 to showcase the Valley Ranch community and present an economist’s predictions on why the Houston economy will continue to be strong despite the oil industry slump.
The event was held at Texan Drive Stadium at the Community Room and attracted approximately 140 real estate professionals who gathered to learn about Valley Ranch Town Center. The meal for the event was catered by the New Caney ISD Child Nutrition Department and served by students from the New Caney High School and Porter High School Culinary Arts programs. The New Caney High School Floral Design class also created beautiful centerpieces of freshly cut flowers for the event.
Danny Signorelli, founder of The Signorelli Company, described the Valley Ranch Town Center as the largest retail center construction in the Houston area and that 400,000 square feet of retail space is set to open in September of this year. Some of the stores that will open soon in the new retail area include Kroger Marketplace, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Sam’s Club, Chili’s Grill and Bar, Chick-fil-a and Pollo Loco.
The Town Center will include an entertainment district that offers a movie theater and amphitheater for live musical concerts. Other amenities of the Town Center will include a hotel and Class A office space. On the south side of the Grand Parkway the development will include a medical district which will be anchored by one or two hospitals, according to Signorelli.
“Valley Ranch will be the focal point for healthcare just like it is for retail,” he said.
Signorelli explained that the demand for commercial space has squeezed and reduced some of the residential areas that were originally planned.
“There is not enough residential,” he said. “As soon as we sell out of it, that’s it.”
Signorelli described the homes available from Valley Ranch builder partners range from $180,000 to $250,000.
“For the Realtors, I think it’s a great value,” he said.
Attendees also listened to a presentation from Dr. Mark G. Dotzour, who served for 18 years as Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in College Station.
Dotzour addressed the audience offering an economic overview of how the dramatic drop in oil prices started and how it is impacting the Houston area real estate market.
Dotzour explained that the national economy is growing but no one knows how long it will last. The longest period of growth was from 1991 to 2001. As of January of this year, the current economic expansion has lasted for 79 months.
Despite the recent downturn in oil prices and oil companies laying off hundreds of employees, Houston is the best place in the world for energy companies, according to Dotzour.
“We are under duress,” he said. “The energy business is not going away. It’s just going to get restructured.”
Dotzour noted that there is private equity funding in excess of $100 billion held by investors who are ready to purchase bankrupt oil companies. Since they will purchase companies, equipment and personnel at deep discounts after the bankruptcies, they will be able to produce oil at lower prices and still make a profit.
“Houston is not good but the best at the energy business,” said Dotzour. “We are in a temporary transition circumstance. This is how we roll in the oil business.”
While local companies may face bankruptcy, Dotzour said that leaders of Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia are facing massive budget deficits and political unrest among its citizens since the sale of oil forms a major portion of their Gross Domestic Product. Citizens of Saudi Arabia are paying higher prices for gas, food and taxes because of the lower oil revenues.
“They are in jeopardy of losing their countries,” said Dotzour, referring to the leaders of Saudi Arabia who face having their governments overthrown by an angry citizenry impacted by rising prices.
Dotzour expressed confidence that the oil industry in Houston will rebound and that home prices, along with interest rates, would not be negatively impacted by the oil slump based on historical figures.
“Now is the best time in my entire life to buy a house,” he said, referring to interest rates that are at their lowest levels in 40 years.
Dotzour noted that the number of unsold homes in the Houston area is at its lowest level since 1997.
“I’ve been begging people across the state to build thousands of homes because we don’t have enough,” he said. “We build one house for every four people who move to town. We’ve been under building for the population growth since 2007. That is why prices have been spiking.”
Dotzour concluded his presentation with a positive statistic for Houston-area home buyers that has been true since 1979 despite major recessions in the 1980s and in 2009.
“For the average home buyer in Houston, if you held it for 10 years, it will be worth 43 percent more when you sell it,” he said.