HAR: Houston in ‘most energized market in history’

by Alsha Khan

Houston’s residential real estate market continued to set new records in May, according to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update.

Single-family home sales shot up more than 48% compared to May 2020, with 9,702 units sold this May versus 6,546 last year. This marks the biggest one-month year-over-year sales volume increase of all time in Houston. It was also the twelfth month in a row Houston experienced positive sales. Currently, home sales are leading 2020’s record pace by 29.5%.

Luxury homes priced $750,000 and up saw a massive 291% year-over-year increase, followed by homes priced from $500,000 to $750,000, which saw a 166% increase. Houston also saw an 82.8% rise in homes priced from $250,000 to $499,999.

On the other hand, homes priced in the lower ranges all saw declines in May sales. Homes in the $1 to $99,999 range decreased by 34.7%, followed by homes in the $100,000 to $149,999 range (down 31.5%) and the $150,000 to $249,000 range (down 6.5%).

The unparalleled growth in high-end homebuying drove the average single-family home price up 29.7% to $387,105 and the median price up 21.7% to $304,000. These are both record highs.

The total number of properties sold (12,100) was the second-highest volume in history, up 55.5% from May 2020. The total dollar volume skyrocketed 100.5% to $4.4 billion.

The market is more competitive than ever right now, and inventory is continuing to shrink at a rapid pace. Currently, Houston is at a historically low inventory of a 1.4-months’ supply, down from 3.3 months this time last year. For comparison, the national inventory now sits at about 2.4 months.

The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes dropped from 58 to 34 days, showing how competitive today’s market truly is.

On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are 29.5% ahead of 2020’s pace.

Rentals for single-family homes dropped 26.8%, with the average rent up 10.6% to a record-high of $2,205.

Townhome and condominium sales jumped 103.4%, with the average price up 15.7% to $238,839 and the median price up 21.7% to a record high of $213,000. Leases for these types of properties fell 3.5%, with the average rent up 8.5% to $1,716.

“We are witnessing the most energized Houston real estate market in history,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda in a press release. “Sellers maintain the upper hand, and buyers are not just meeting their demands. They are exceeding them, as we hear endless accounts of offers coming in that are thousands of dollars above list price. It’s difficult to predict how and when this incredible housing run will end.”

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