As a city on a swamp founded by speculators, keeping up with the latest real estate transactions is part of Houston’s civic DNA. After a relatively calm 2020, this year has been rich in fireworks.

Whether it’s the home of a star athlete in the market or the latest game-changing mixed-use development, readers couldn’t resist delving into all the juicy details. In a year when low interest rates prompted many people to take out mortgages, our series for first-time homebuyers also attracted a lot of attention.

Elsewhere, we’ve shown civic pride in our rapidly growing suburbs and marveled at one of River Oaks’ most exclusive mansions. Let’s not forget Shipley Do-Nuts’ plans to bring top-notch drive-thru to the growing East End.

Without further ado, here are the 10 most popular real estate stories of the year:

1. Houston super couple’s Piney Point home rockets hit the market for $ 3 million. The sumptuous home of Rocket legend Mario Elie and TV presenter Gina Gaston offered six bedrooms, chic apartments, an island kitchen that opens onto a breakfast room, den and bar with sink and paneled desk.

2. Former Houston Texans star tosses Memorial mansion on market for $ 8.45 million. Boasting a total of 1.42 acres and 13,000 feet of living space, the five-bedroom home features spectacular staircases, vaulted ceilings, and exposed beams.

3. Massive new community planned by a master paves way for West Houston. When completed, the development will consist of 7,000 homes that will eventually house approximately 26,000 residents.

4. Houston suburb lifts the roof with one of the country’s biggest real estate booms. Fort Bend County has grown 41 percent (80,880 new housing units) over the past decade, according to data from the US Census Bureau.

5. 6 affordable Houston neighborhoods for first-time homebuyers in 2021. A local expert shared his picks for affordable neighborhoods that are suitable for first-time buyers.

6. Luxurious new waterfront development sails to the warmest island of Galveston. Expect 70 luxurious two-, three- and four-bedroom condominiums, ranging from 1,200 to over 3,000 square feet, plus plenty of upscale amenities.

seven. Royal River Oaks Palace built for Saudi prince dazzles $ 18million market. The listing agent described the three-story, 10-bedroom home as “an extremely rare opportunity in the heart of River Oaks, and something that really cannot be reproduced with this quality of materials.”

8. Houston’s favorite donut store deploys new headquarters in familiar space. The building will also house a flagship donut store with indoor drive-thru that will provide customers with an overview of the facility’s operations.

9. Fort Bend sets the stage for more housing and commerce with massive new development. Overall, the three phases cover approximately 180 acres and 1 million square feet, which positions Fort Bend Town Square as one of the top shopping destinations in the city of Missouri.

ten. Game-changing waterfront mixed-use development flows through downtown east. By the numbers, East River will encompass 1 million square feet of new construction spanning 60 city blocks and last for 20 years.