By Peter Ricci
The Houston real estate market concluded a rousing 2012 with yet another strong month of home sales in December, with single-family home sales increasing 11.4 percent year-over-year and marking the 19th straight month of positive home sales for the Bayou City, according to the latest numbers from the Houston Association of Realtors.
Overall, 5,039 contracts were closed in December, pushing the Houston housing inventory to just 3.7 months; that’s down from 5.8 months a year ago, and the lowest supply of homes since December 1999.
Houston Real Estate Market Closes out 2012 Strong
All across the board, the Houston real estate market put up strong numbers in December, including:
- The average sale price for single-family homes rose 11.3 percent from last year, with the median price increasing 7.8 percent; both are historic highs for Houston.
- Foreclosure sales continue to make up less and less of the housing market, falling 24.0 percent from December 2011; with a 14.2 percent market share in December, foreclosure sales are down by half from the start of 2012.
- Interestingly, there continues to be a positive correlation between price and performance. Though homes prices $79,999 and under saw sales drop by 17.7 percent, all other price brackets saw stronger sales the higher the price krept, with homes priced $500,000 to $1 million and above seeing sales go up by 39.1 percent.
- And finally, pending sales for December were 6.2 percent higher than last year, suggesting positive sales for January and February.
Altogether, 2012 saw single-family home sales increase 16.1 percent over 2011, with average price climbing 5.4 percent and median price by 6.1 percent; total dollar volume also posted strong increases, rising 23.3 percent.
Danny Frank – 2012 a “Phenomenal” Year for Houston
The strong December numbers, said HAR Chairman Danny Frank, capped off a terrific year for both the Houston housing market and the general economy of the city.
“2012 was a phenomenal year for the Houston housing market, thanks to the addition of more than 85,000 new jobs locally as well as continued low interest rates,” Frank said. “Market conditions have created excellent opportunities to sell a home in many parts of town, with some sellers receiving multiple offers. With less than four months of inventory on the market and continued demand, we could see further pressure on pricing until inventory levels pick up.”