By Peter Ricci
The Houston real estate market continued to surge in November, with housing inventory falling to its lowest level in 12 years and both average and median home prices setting new records for a November in the Bayou City, as the local housing market continued to defy seasonal trends.
Houston Real Estate Market Booming
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, housing inventory for the month stood at just 4.1-months supply, down from 6.2 months in November 2011 and the lowest recorded inventory since December 2000. Similarly, average home prices and median home prices posted strong gains, increasing 10.5 and 8.1 percent, respectively.
Both prices and inventory, no doubt, were spurred by the Houston real estate market’s strong sales. Single-family home sales rose 27.3 percent year-over-year, the second-strongest yearly increase of 2012 and the 18th consecutive month of positive sales for Houston.
Other interesting stats included:
- Foreclosure property sales declined by 8.9 percent from last year and made up only 15.0 percent of all sales in November, the lowest one-month sales volume of the year. It’s likely that the shrinking proportion of foreclosure property sales contributed to the strong home prices in November.
- What also contributed, though, were the spectacular numbers from Houston’s upper bracket markets. As was the case last month, the more expensive the property in Houston, the more impressive its increase in sales.
- So, properties priced $80,000 to $149,999 increased by 17.2 percent, but properties priced $150,000 to $249,999 increased by 34.0 percent; and while homes priced $250,000 to $499,999 increased by 44.4 percent, home priced $500,000 to $1 million and above increased by 50.2 percent.
Dianne Moore of United Real Estate – Competition is “Strong”
Dianne Moore, the managing broker of United Real Estate in Houston, said the market conditions in the Houston real estate market have created an incredibly competitive marketplace for her agents.
“I’m hearing my agents keep losing offers, because people keep one-upping them,” Moore said. “Competition is strong.”
Though Houston is “definitely a seller’s market” in Moore’s view (and with rising prices, falling inventory and skyrocketing demand, it’d be hard to see it any other way!), she said homebuyers are not losing out as a result, considering that interest rates are still at historic lows; thus, sellers are “giddy” at the rising home values, and buyers are able to move up and purchase bigger and better properties.
“It’s a win-win,” Moore said.