Low inventory still driving up Houston housing prices

by Liz Hughes

Inventory shortages continue to make the homebuying market competitive as supply is unable to keep up with demand.

Median home sale prices in February rose more than 14% from last year, the largest increase since July 2013, according to a new Redfin report.

The report found 36% of homes sold last month went for above the asking price. At the same time, median-home sale prices, nationally, rose 14.4% year over year to $336,200 in February.

The median sale price of a home in Houston was $275,000, a 4.8% increase month over month and an 11.3% increase over last year. In February, 6,163 homes sold in Houston, down 0.9% from last year. Austin was one of the most competitive markets in February where 57.3% of homes sold above list price.

In Texas, home sales fell 15% in Austin and 13% in McAllen. The report found the Texas declines were likely due to escrow delays from the February winter storms.

A decline in homes for sale hit a record low in February. While both closings and pending sales increased from last year, 5% and 21%, respectively, a decline in homes for sale hit a record low last month, as they fell by 16% — the second largest decline since 2012. New Houston listings fell 23.5% from last year.

Time on market also dropped last month as the report found a typical home sold in February went under contract in 32 days — 23 fewer than last year.

“This is the strongest seller’s market since at least 2006,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a press release. “Buyers outnumber sellers by such a huge margin that many homeowners are staying put because they know how hard it would be to find a place to move to.”

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