HAR: Houston Returns to Form in September

by James McClister


Coming off a relatively lackluster August, Houston returned to 2014, record-setting form, as both prices and sales experienced positive growth, according to a report from the Houston Association of Realtors.

Total property sales jumped 2.2 percent year-over-year, from 7,848 transactions to just over 8,000, while single-family sales increased 3.5 percent. However, gains were limited to properties priced between $150,000 and $500,000.

The total breakdown of sales by market tiers was as follows:

$1 – $79,999: decreased 23.0 percent
$80,000 – $149,999: decreased 16.5 percent
$150,000 – $249,999: increased 15.6 percent
$250,000 – $499,999: increased 16.0 percent
$500,000 and above: decreased 10.4 percent

Single-family home prices continued climbing in August, which, unlike sales, has been the trend all year. The median sales price of single-family homes increased 4.5 percent year-over-year, putting the city’s median price at $208,000 – still below the national average.

Single-family inventory also saw gains in August, which, while consistent with the city’s performance in recent months, is still a welcome sign. With only a 3.5-months supply – a 20.7 percent year-over-year increase – available homes in the area are still low relative to the nation and other major metros.

Strong Performances All Around

HAR’s report explored multiple sectors of the market, including existing-homes as well as town houses and condominiums, and found that the city experienced gains across the board.

  • Existing home sales totaled 5,726 in September, up 2.7 percent versus the same month last year.
  • Sales of townhouses and condominiums fell 4.5 percent in September. A total of 599 units sold compared to 627 properties in September 2014.
  • Median price from town houses and condos edged up 1.3 percent to $155,000. Inventory grew from a 2.5-months supply to 3.2 months.

Houston Inventory Expected to Rise

With both sales and prices resuming the pace that quickly ferried the state away from the more troubling aspects of the housing crisis, the city faces what many are describing as overvaluation, which essentially means home prices are too high to sustain in the long term. But HAR Chair Nancy Furst has nothing but confidence in Houston’s future.

“September showed a bit more vitality than August, and considering that we are comparing to a record 2014 sales year and remain in a climate of energy-related layoffs, I’d say that the Houston real estate market is truly holding its own,” she said, adding that the association expects inventory to continue growing in the final quarter of 2015.

Read More Related to This Post

Join the conversation

Oops! We could not locate your form.