Houston Mortgage & Real Estate Update

Mortgage rates have been in a sideways pattern, influenced mainly by geo-political events. These events may also keep the price of oil up which will just continue the demand for Houston real estate.

For self-employed borrowers many of our investors are coming out with alternative mortgage products, like bank-statement mortgage-loan programs that allow your monthly deposits to be used as your income. To qualify for this mortgage you must be self-employed for at least two years.

Houston’s real estate market continues to stay hot and good mortgage rates are helping buyer demand as well. Here is the latest on the market from our membership newsletter at the Houston Association of Realtors. You can see Houston is still a sellers’ market. Here is the latest from HAR:

The Houston housing market eked out another month of positive sales in July with prices up and the supply of homes continuing to grow, albeit slightly. Sales volume was the highest monthly total ever recorded.

Housing inventory, which fell to 40-year lows earlier this year, has edged up each of the last three months, reaching a 3.0-months supply in July. Prices climbed to the highest levels for a July, but were lower than June’s all-time record highs. Sales among homes priced between $250,000 and the millions showed the greatest strength, while Days on Market, or the number of days a home takes to sell, fell to a record low of 45.

Single-family home sales totaled 7,769 units, up 1.0 percent compared to July 2013, according to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR). That represents a record high one-month sales volume. New listings of single-family properties this month rose 5.5 percent, translating to 10,390 properties, which helped boost inventory from June’s 2.9-months supply to 3.0 months. That is still below the 3.4-months supply of inventory one year earlier and significantly lower than the current national supply of 5.5 months of inventory.

The average price of a single-family home jumped 6.4 percent year-over-year to $277,023. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—increased 6.8 percent to $202,000.

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July did not bring the most dramatic sales performance we’ve ever seen, but the numbers are headed in the right direction,” said HAR Chair Chaille Ralph with Heritage Texas Properties. “We are beginning to see a steady resupply of housing inventory with proportionate sales and pricing gains, all of which translates to a healthier real estate market.”

July sales of all property types totaled 9,250 units, a 0.7-percent increase compared to the same month last year. That marks the second largest one-month total sales volume of all time. Total dollar volume for properties sold rose 7.0 percent to $2.4 billion versus $2.3 billion a year earlier.

July Monthly Market Comparison The Houston housing market experienced across-the-board gains in July with total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all up when compared to July 2013.

Month-end pending sales for all property types totaled 4,743, up 7.3 percent versus last year, which likely portends another month of positive home sales for August. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of July is 29,880 and is 9.4 percent lower than last year. This is reflective of a record low inventory, but also demonstrates the steady absorption by real estate consumers.

Meanwhile, Houston’s housing inventory is gradually being replenished, hitting a 3.0-months supply in July. Inventory was flat at a 2.6-months supply from last December to April, but has edged upward each of the last three months. It is down from the 3.4-months supply of one year ago and below the current 5.6-months supply of inventory across the U.S. reported by the National Association of Realtors®.

Single-Family Homes Update July single-family home sales totaled an all-time record high of 7,769. That is up 1.0 percent from July 2013 and represents the second monthly sales increase since a decline of 8.1 percent in May. Sales rose 4.6 percent in June.

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Home prices reached record high levels for a July. The single-family median price climbed 6.8 percent from last year to $202,000 and the average price rose 6.4 percent year-over-year to $277,023. Transactions overall continued to close at a record pace. The number of days a home took to sell¬, or Days on Market, reached 45 – the lowest level of all time.

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Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 36.3 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 9.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 6.8 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 11.6 percent
  • $500,000 – $1 million and above: increased 11.7 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales performance of existing single-family homes for the Houston market. In July, existing home sales totaled 6,903. That is 1.8 percent ahead of the same month last year. The average sales price increased 5.6 percent year-over-year to $263,506 while the median sales price jumped 6.9 percent to $190,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update Hampered by low inventory, July sales of townhouses and condominiums dipped 2.3 percent from one year earlier. A total of 671 units sold last month compared to 687 properties in July 2013. The average price rose 7.8 percent to $207,644 and the median price increased 6.6 percent to $153,000. Inventory was down to a 2.7-months supply versus a 3.2-months supply a year earlier, but up from the June 2014 level of 2.6 months.

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Lease Property Update Lease properties remained in high demand in July. Single-family home rentals rose 7.2 percent compared to July 2013, while year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals increased 4.1 percent. The average rent for a single-family home shot up 13.7 percent to $1,950 and the average rent for a townhouse/condominium rose 4.1 percent to $1,555.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in July

  • Single-family home sales staged their second monthly increase since May’s decline, edging up 1.0 percent versus July 2013;
  • At 7,769, the total number of single-family homes sold was the largest monthly sales volume ever;
  • Total property sales rose 0.7 percent year-over year, reaching the second highest level of all time;
  • Total dollar volume was up 7.0 percent, increasing from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion on a year-over-year basis;
  • At $202,000, the single-family home median price achieved a record high for a July;
  • At $277,023, the single-family home average price also reached a July high;
  • Days on Market for single-family homes was 45, the lowest level of all time;
  • The local supply of homes continues to gradually be replenished, with inventory edging up to a 3.0-months supply. That compares to a 3.4-months supply locally last July and the current national average of 5.5 months, as reported by the National Association of REALTORS®;
  • Rentals of single-family homes rose 7.2 percent year-over-year and the cost of renting those homes increased 13.7 percent to $1,950.
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