Houston home price increase more than doubles national average

by Jason Porterfield

The median price of a home in the U.S. reached its highest point in 13 years last month as inventory continued to fall, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for February.

The national median of $291,000 represented a record high for February, though it was higher than the Houston area’s median of $275,000. Houston’s median price rose 5.8% month over month, from $260,000 in January. The metro area’s median prices increased 12.2% year over year from $245,000 in February 2020. Nationally, February home prices were up 5.7% year over year.

There were 6,112 real estate transactions in Houston in February. That figure represents a 1.9% decrease from 6,230 in January and is 2.1% lower than the 6,241 transactions recorded in February 2020. Houston’s active inventory fell by 14.2% month-over-month, from 16,714 in January to 14,343 in February. Inventory was down 47.9% year over year, from 27,540 last February.

Nationally, the months supply of inventory was down 11.9% from January and 42% year over year. Month over month inventory has fallen for 20 of the past 21 months, according to the report.

“The shrinking inventory continued to fuel ongoing bidding wars, and our agents report some homes selling for well above listing price,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “It’s a complicated, competitive market, with buyers having to act quickly and aggressively to get the home they want. Conditions seem to be keeping some potential sellers on the sidelines, but that could change if or when they see more move-up options on the market. With seasonality, still-low interest rates and gains in new construction, we hope to see some relief in supply during the coming months.”

Houston-area homes took an average of 48 days to sell in February, holding steady from January’s numbers. Year over year, the number of days homes spent on the market fell by 28.4% from 67 days in February 2020. Houston’s days on the market average for last month was higher than the national average of 42 days. Nationally, homes sold an average of 18 days faster than last February.

None of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the report experienced a year-over-year decline in sale price. Year-over-year price gains hit double digits in 45 metro areas, with Boise, Idaho (29.6%, from $320,000 to $415,000), Augusta, Maine (26.5%, from $170,000 to $215,000) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (25.8%, from $159,000 to $200,000) leading the way.

Augusta, Maine experienced the biggest year-over-year increase in the number of sales at 39.7%, followed by New York, NY at 28.6% and Honolulu, HI at 25.1%.

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