Houston home sales up compared to early days of 2020 pandemic

by Alsha Khan

View of downtown Houston during sunset on a clear day with townhouses on the foreground. Viewed from Washington Avenue area

Residential real estate activity numbers for greater Houston are in from week 12 ending Mar. 29, and the number of new listings, pending listings, closings and showings are all up from this time last year, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

The data are skewed because it was at this time last year that the coronavirus pandemic forced the real estate business to go into lockdown until it was deemed an essential service.

With 2,619 new listings, there was a 5.2% increase in the number of properties Realtors entered into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) when compared to the same week last year when Realtors entered 2,489 properties into the MLS. This marked the end to 12 straight weeks of decline, as this was the first time new listings appeared to be up since week 51 of 2020.

The number of pending listings increased for its fourth consecutive week (up 54.1%), with a total of 2,625 listings that went under contract. That’s compared to the 1,703 pending listings during the same week of 2020.

Off-market listings remained consistent with recent trends. A total of 867 homes went from active to off-market listings compared to 1,455 during the same week last year, a decrease of 40.4%.

Despite the continuing lack of inventory, there was an 8.7% increase in home closings during week 12 of 2021 when compared to the same week in 2020. There was a total of 2,025 closed home sales during this time period in 2021 compared to 1,863 during the same week last year.

Property showings increased 145.2% compared to this time last year, but again, numbers are skewed because this coincided with lockdown orders being imposed in Texas as the pandemic came to a head last year. During week 12 of 2021, there were 49,040 showings compared to 20,001 last year. There were also 3,613 open houses held both virtually and in person.

HAR.com listing views increased 27.1% when compared to last year, from 10,759,095 listing views during week 12 of 2020 to 13,674,757 listing views during the same week this year.

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