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Houston

The fourth largest city in the United States, Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas with a population 2.1 million, spread over nearly 600 square miles. Houston is home to an economic center comprised of The Woodlands, Sugar Land, and Houston. Houston boasts big diversity in industries which include: energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and healthcare. Only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters than Houston. Along with the discovery of oil, the city grew rapidly because it also had a large port and railroad industry.

Houston Real Estate

The city of Houston is a very large one, because like Jacksonville and Chicago, the borders stretch beyond the metropolis. Home listing prices here average nearly $332,000, with a median list price of $204,500, which represents an increase in excess of 21 percent in Q3 of 2013 from the same period in 2012. Though homes are somewhat diverse, single family homes are the largest type of floorplan, with some condo and townhome communities.

Architecture

The Ranch style floor plan is very popular in the area, but other styles can be seen throughout the city, such as Victorian, Craftsman and Colonial Revival. Homes are one and two story, some with basements, while others have attics. In the heart of the city are high rises, which are home to condominiums. Carriage houses can also be found within the city, as can patio homes, duplexes, and modular homes.

Climate

The city of Houston resides in what's known as a "humid subtropical", meaning the summers are quite warm, with a lot of humidity. From July through August, daytime highs reach into the lower to mid to upper 90s Fahrenheit, with the months of December, January, and February being much more mild, with lows reaching the mid 40s Fahrenheit. Snowfall is rare to the city, but does happen occasionally, with most only being flakes which melt before accumulation.

Demographics

The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Houston to be 51 percent white, 26 percent non-hispanic whites, 44 percent being Hispanic, and 24 percent being black. Individuals from other races total about 15 percent, with a 6 percent Asian population. The city of Houston has one of the youngest populations in the United States, partly because of the large immigration population.

Main Attractions

The main attractions in Houston are Bayou Place, a entertainment megaplex, the Johnson Space Center, a NASA installation for space exploration, the Galleria Mall, which is the largest of its kind in the state of Texas, the Houston Zoo, the Museum District, Kemah Boardwalk, which is the city's largest amusement and entertainment park, and the Downtown Aquarium, which is home to 400 species of marine life.

Transportation

Unlike some of its urban counterparts in the United States, transportation in the city of Houston is largely private, with almost 72 percent going in and out of the city in privately owned vehicles. The city also has a large public transportation system which is run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County or what's locally called the METRO, provides public transportation in the form of buses, light rail, and lift vans.

Economy

Houston is an internationally recognized community of energy production, particularly for its large oil and natural gas. It is also the largest city for merchandise exports, totalling more than $110 billion per year. The top three destinations for exports are Mexico, Canada, and Brazil. Moreover, the city of Houston has a gross municipal product which is nearly $450 billion. Only 26 countries outside the United States have a GDP greater than that of Houston.