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Home sales in Houston climbed again in February

by Kerrie Kennedy

February marked another strong month for Houston real estate. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, just over 6,000 single-family homes sold in February, compared to just over 5,000 a year earlier. That 13.2% year-over-year gain marked an eighth consecutive month of rising sales numbers.

Sales of single-family homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 increased 28.2 percent year over year in February, following homes priced at or above $750,000, which increased 21%.

Median prices for single-family homes rose 5.2% to $245,000, while average sales prices climbed 5.9% to $301,648 ­– the highest prices ever for a February.

Sales of all property types in Houston were up 14.9% from February 2019, with total dollar volume up 19.4% to slightly more than $2.1 billion.

Inventory was perhaps the only negative, down slightly in February to 3.5-months’ supply compared to a 3.6-month supply a year earlier.

“The Houston housing market gained momentum in February, thanks largely to record low mortgage rates that some economists say could drop even further,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent in the report. “Concerns have been raised about the possible effects the coronavirus outbreak might have on our real estate market and others around the country, and that is something HAR is monitoring. Coronavirus was not a factor in the February housing data, but obviously with the losses that Wall Street has suffered as well as declining oil prices, we are keeping a watchful eye on housing market activity.”

Stewart Title Chief Economist Ted C. Jones, Ph.D., who provides economic forecasting services to HAR, said he anticipates “no measurable impact from coronavirus on Houston real estate” after analyzing the market impacts of SARS and H1N1 virus, noting that the former coincided with 9/11 and the latter with the Great Recession.

“The pandemic or seismic event probably magnified or extended the trends of the time, but the total changes from the prior and the following year could not solely be attributed to the event,” Jones said in the report. “Hopefully that is same result for the coronavirus.”

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