Houston's real estate market enjoyed yet another positive month in March, with home sales rising 7.8 percent year-over-year.
According to the latest data from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), housing inventory is now at its lowest level since December 2o08, and average and median prices in Houston have reached the highest levels ever in March, with average price just shy of the city's all-time record from June 2008.
Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty, said that Houston's atypical performance is a good sign for future activity.
"March was an excellent month for home sales in Houston and the healthy appreciation in pricing is welcome news as well," Stroman said. "Inventory remains at its lowest level in more than three years and is outpacing the national real estate market. The moderation in pending sales in March could possibly translate to a leveling off of sales before we enter the summer buying season, but we will know for sure next month."
This was the tenth consecutive month of positive year-over-year sales for Houston, and been extremely positive for prices. In March, the average single-family home price rose 5.7 percent from last year to $227,270, which is the highest level for a March in Houston's history and only $70 less than the city's all-time record in June 2008. The median price of $161,750 rose by 7.8 percent and was also a March record.
Also, the total dollar volume for the properties sold in March was $1.3 billion, a 15.2 percent increase from last year. Inventory, which stands at 5.6 months, is the lowest its been in more than three years, and has dropped considerably from last March's 7.5 months.
Beyond March, though, it will be interesting to see what the home sale data will look like for April, considering that HAR also reported a 0.7 percent year-over-year decline for pending sales in March, which may, in the association's words, "suggest a slight tapering of sales when the April housing data are compiled."