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What to Expect from Partnership’s 2023 Houston Facts Release

Published Jul 25, 2023 by Brina Morales

White Oak Bayou Hike & Bike Greenway Trail (Courtesy: Lance Childers, Houston First Corporation)

The Houston region remains an economic powerhouse as it continues to attract new companies, investment and talent, according to the Greater Houston Partnership’s upcoming 2023 Houston Facts publication. 

Houston Facts has presented unvarnished information about the Houston region since 1959, and its predecessor publications—under different names, but with the same objective—dating back to 1906. Today, Houston Facts is a comprehensive almanac for the Houston region. 

Here are four valuable facts you can expect from this year’s edition, developed by the Partnership’s Research team and sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. The Research team, led by Chief Economist Patrick Jankowski, will provide a first look and additional insight into the 2023 Houston Facts publication on August 2. Click here to register for the special presentation.

Houston saw the second-best year on record for employment growth in 2022, with the metro area adding 145,700 jobs. Several factors are driving Houston’s growth including, a strong U.S. economy, close ties to the global economy, a surge in corporate activity and sustained population growth. The Partnership identified 540 companies that have announced relocations, expansions, or start-up operations in the region in 2021 and 2022. 

The Houston region is home to 7.3 million people and had the second largest numeric increase in population of any U.S. metro between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the most recent Census figures. Houston is also home to many people who were born outside of the U.S. – nearly one in four Houstonians, or 1.7 million residents, are foreign-born. 

Cost of Living
The region remains the second most affordable major metro among the nation’s 20 most populous metro areas. Houston’s living costs are 34.1 percent below the average of those 20 metro areas, and our overall living costs are 7.9 percent below the U.S. average. Housing costs also remain low with the region 89 percent below the average for the nation’s most populous metro areas and 17.9 percent below the average for all U.S. metros. 

Energy Transition Investment
As the region positions itself as the leader in the global energy transition, Houston has seen constant growth in annual energy transition investments over the last five years. Houston-based energy transition startups, businesses, and companies secured $6.1 billion in financing from private market investments in 2022, showing a 61.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Learn more about the Economy Series on August 2 to delve deeper into the insights of the 2023 Houston Facts publication, presented by Fifth Third Bank.

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Report: Houston’s Global Economy Thrives, Setting New Records

HOUSTON (May 2, 2024)— All metrics indicate Houston’s global economy is positioned for continued success, according to the Greater Houston Partnership’s 2024 Global Houston report. The report, which provides an analysis of the global economy and its tie to the Houston region, illustrates how Houston’s international activity in 2023 continued to set records: The Houston-Galveston Customs District continues to rank first in the country in tonnage handled (exports and imports) with over 404.7 million metric tons of goods and commodities, an increase of 6.4 percent from 2022. The Houston-Galveston Customs District ranked first in total value with $344.5 billion for the second consecutive year. Houston led the U.S. in exports, shipping more than $175.5 billion in goods and commodities. Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains strong, with an 18% increase as 52 foreign-owned companies with plans to relocate, expand or start operations, surpassing the 44 projects announced in 2022. The Houston Airport System handled 12.6 million international passengers, finally surpassing pre-COVID levels and setting a record. For the second consecutive year, international migration accounted for the largest share (37.6%) of the region’s population growth. The region attracted 52,500 migrants in 2023, an increase of more than 10% compared to 2022. According to the report, trade disputes, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions remain as global challenges in 2024. Fortunately, foreign governments recognize Houston’s pivotal role in global trade and foreign investment. "While economists expect a slightly weaker year ahead, Houston's robust ties to global markets and the ongoing growth of our major trading partners will continue to support our economy," said Partnership Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski. "We remain confident in the strength and resilience of Houston's global economy." The Global Houston report also provides additional statistics and information about Houston’s international business ties and ranks the region’s top 20 trade partners. Top 10 Houston trade partners and the value of trade in 2023: China -- $31.8 billion, down from $32.1 billion in 2022. Mexico -- $28.7 billion, down from $32.0 billion in 2022. Netherlands -- $26.5 billion, up from $19 billion in 2022. South Korea -- $22.9 billion, down from $24.7 billion in 2022. Brazil -- $15.6 billion, down from $20.3 billion in 2022. Germany -- $15.1 billion, up from $15.0 billion in 2022. Japan -- $13.1 billion, down from $14.2 billion in 2022. United Kingdom -- $13.1 billion, down from $15.9 billion in 2022. India -- $13.0 billion, down from $15.5 billion in 2022. Singapore -- $11.4 billion, down from $14.0 billion in 2022.
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Growth in Spring Boosts New Residential and Medical Developments

As new development flourishes along the bustling FM 2920 corridor in Spring, the area is experiencing a remarkable surge in growth.  According to Community Impact, from 2016-2021, the zip code 77388, which encompasses the FM 2920 corridor, saw a 21 percent increase in population. As the North Houston suburb continues to attract residents, developers have expanded their footprint in the area. A Transwestern Houston Multifamily Market report shows that the Spring/Tomball submarket ranked the third highest for total new construction within the metro with 1,329 units in Q2 of 2023.   Click to expand Among the developments along the corridor are two new apartment complexes, Territory at Falvel and Virtuo Spring. Both are slated for completion this year. City Place, a 2,000-acre mixed-use district, is also adding a 326-unit apartment complex dubbed Echo Lake.   Additionally, the Everstead at Windrose, a 194-unit single-family rental community, is nearing completion. The project will feature world-class amenities including a resort-style pool, fitness center, playground, dog park and coffee shop.   Click to expand Medical developments are also growing in the area. The Spring Medical Plaza, a 55,354-square-foot medical complex, is set to open in May, securing a local surgical center as its first tenant. Kelsey-Seybold also recently opened its 40,000-square-foot expansion of its Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center.  “Kelsey-Seybold Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center has deep roots in this community, and as the area is growing, we are growing with it,” said Cecilia Fowler, Kelsey-Seybold senior director, Ambulatory Care, North Region in a statement.  Click to expand Gosling Oaks, a 50-acre mixed-use development, is also underway in the area. The property, projected to be completed next year, will incorporate 40,000 square feet of medical and professional office space, along with 100,000 square feet dedicated to retail and restaurant use.   Growth in development has driven enrollment rates at Spring ISD (SISD) schools to skyrocket. According to Community Impact, SISD’s enrollment increased by 628 students in the 2022-23 school year, marking a 1.9% increase from the previous year—the largest enrollment growth the district has had in more than a decade.  To accommodate growth, SISD is set to break ground on a new a site for Spring High School in 2025. According to a SISD news release, the school will sit on a 185-acre site and will feature state-of-the-art amenities and technologies and modern classrooms.   “We are so proud to support the campus’ future growth and the limitless possibilities this affords our students,” said school board President Justine Durant in the same news release.  Click to expand The district also recently unveiled plans for the Education, Performance and Instruction Center (EPIC), which will serve as a hub for districtwide events, including educational and performing arts showcases and high school graduation ceremonies. EPIC is expected to break ground next year with a target opening date of 2027.  Learn more about Houston’s Neighborhoods and Communities.  
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