Houston Home Sales

Have you ever heard the saying, “Thank your lucky stars you live in Texas”? Well when it comes to real estate values those words ring true compared to much of the rest of the country. Houston Home Sales data was released to HAR members earlier this morning. We’ll share the report with you now before it hits the mainstream media.

HOUSTON — (March 20, 2012) — February marked the ninth consecutive month of positive home sales across the greater Houston area, and properties sold at a brisk enough pace to drive housing inventory to its lowest level since December 2008. The month also saw the trademarks of a healthy real estate market continue to prevail—a decline in active property listings and rise in pending sales.

February sales of single-family homes soared 16.9 percent versus one year earlier, according to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). That is the biggest sales boost since August 2011. A surge in sales among homes priced between $80,000 and $250,000 combined with flat sales in the luxury housing segment allowed the average and median price to retreat slightly.

“The Houston housing market continues to show welcomed strength at the end of February 2012,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. “In addition to all the positive indicators in HAR’s February report, Houston is reaping the benefits of great economic news in the form of more than 76,000 jobs created over the past year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. It stands to reason that with new jobs being filled, these employees and their families will need housing.”

February’s single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—dipped a fractional 0.7 percent year-over-year to $149,900. The average price fell 4.6 percent from February 2011 to $201,945.

Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) increased 21.1 percent year-over-year in February. Foreclosures comprised 23.2 percent of all property sales, which is consistent with the levels observed over the past 12 months. The median price of foreclosures in February was unchanged at $79,000.

February sales of all property types in Houston totaled 4,561, up 15.8 percent compared to February 2011. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month rose 13.4 percent to $894 million versus $788 million one year earlier.

February Monthly  Market Comparison

The month of February brought Houston’s overall housing market positive results when all sales categories are compared to February 2011. Total property sales and total dollar volume rose on a year-over-year basis. The median price declined less than one percent while the average price fell 4.6 percent.

Month-end pending sales for February totaled 3,445. That is up 13.5 percent from last year and suggests another month of positive sales when the March housing data are tallied. The number of available properties, or active listings, at the end of February declined 15.3 percent from February 2011 to 42,206. The inventory of single-family homes dropped to its lowest level since December 2008—5.6 months, compared to 7.3 months one year earlier. That means selling all the single-family homes on the market would take 5.6 months to complete based on the past year’s sales activity. The figure is better than the national inventory of single-family homes of 6.1 months reported by the National Association of REALTORSâ (NAR). These indicators all continue to reflect a healthy and balanced real estate marketplace for Houston.

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