What do recently released housing statistics reveal about the Houston housing market?

Houston is becoming a popular place to settle down, which is reflected in recent housing data. According to the Houston Chronicle, home prices increased in June 2012, the second consecutive month these figures have risen. Those looking to relocate to the metro might want to accelerate their searches, as the number of homes for sale in Houston is rapidly decreasing.

Home prices increased nearly 7 percent between June 2011 and June 2012, and could continue to rise as the summer heats up. The news outlet notes that July is typically a busy time for property sales, as the market tends to decline during the fall and winter.

While real estate experts debate whether the metro's rising property prices is a sustainable trend, the city's employment situation reflects the region's economic strength.

For example, the Houston Business Journal reports that Houston is one of several Texas metros that has been attracting more small businesses lately. Take a look at how these new companies could affect the present and future of the city's economy.

Small businesses can significantly impact the local housing market
Companies that might include only a handful of employees might seem inconsequential, but they could further spark the growth of this metro's economy. When more businesses relocate or set up new operations in a region, they may hire local workers. This could help lower a metro's unemployment rate, and provide more homebuying opportunities for residents.

In 2010, Texas saw nearly a 1 percent increase in the number of small businesses in the state, the news outlet reports. Meanwhile, the area's unemployment rate has recently improved, as the Lone Star State added 12,900 jobs in June 2012.

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Andres Alcantar notes the state's economy has displayed growth in the past few years.

“For nearly two years, employers in Texas have expanded their payrolls and kept the economic engine of Texas moving forward," Alcantar said. "Since last year, the Texas economy has added more than 282,000 private sector jobs."

Houston had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent last month, which remains below the national average. This rapid expansion of employment opportunities throughout the region could lead more people to join the local workforce, which may help this percentage fall further.