HAR Details a Busy September in Houston

by James McClister

HAR’s September sales report booming home sales. Inventory, however, is another story.

A new report released from the Houston Association of Realtors detailed the beginning of the fall season, which, much like in August and July, was characterized by continuous increases to both sales and home prices.

According to the report, single-family home sales increased 7 percent year-over-year pushing total sales to 6,490 units. The flurry of sales, as research suggested, is largely being driven by a dwindling inventory, which currently stands at a 2.9-months supply – well below the national supply of 5.5 months.

Sales, Sales and Sales

Further into HAR’s report, researchers detailed statistics specific to the area, such as:

  • The average price of single-family homes rose 8.2 percent, while the median price jumped 7.7 percent to $196,000.
  • Sales activity across all property types experience a significant 7 percent year-over-year bump in September, moving total sold units to 7,879. Total dollar value for the properties sold reached $2 billion, a 15.7 percent year-over-year increase.
  • Total pending sales similarly increased, gaining nearly 500 units and increasing more than 17 percent year-over-year.

Low Inventory Likely to Remain

As I eluded to earlier, the steep increases in sales activity is due largely to a severely limited inventory, which appears to be shrinking even more. A booming energy industry in the city has helped encourage new development, but Chaille Ralph of Heritage Texas Properties and the current chair of HAR fears persisting demand from buyers could keep inventory levels down.

“As long as consumers continue to snap up homes at the current pace, replenishing our housing inventory will be a slow process,” he said. “Rental numbers were strong in September, suggesting that many would-be homebuyers are continuing to do the lease route until the market bears the homes they’re looking for at the price point that suits them.”

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