MLS Press Release

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Public Relations Manager
3693 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX. 77027
Phone: 713-629-1900 x258
E-mail: david.mendel@har.com
Chief Communications Officer
3693 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX. 77027
Phone: 713-629-1900 x155
E-mail: matt@har.com
Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 REALTORS®
December 2004 Sales
Houston Real Estate Market Ends Record-Setting Year on High Note
More than 72,000 properties worth more than $12 billion were sold in 2004
 
HOUSTON – (January 13, 2005) – The Houston real estate market ended 2004 with the best year in the history of the city, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. New annual records were set for total dollar volume of transactions, number of properties sold and average sales price.

More than 72,000 properties, or an average of 6,000 per month, changed hands through the MLS during 2004, which was an increase of 10.1 percent versus last year. The Houston housing market outpaced the overall 2004 national average increase in existing home sales of 8.9 percent, according to estimates by the National Association of REALTORS®. Additionally, more than $12 billion worth of property, or an average of $1 billion per month, was transacted in the Houston area in 2004, which was an increase of 7.6 percent from 2003 levels.

“This has been the best year in Houston that residential real estate has ever seen and current economic indicators project 2005 to be just as strong,” said Toni Nelson, HAR Chair and a Division Vice President for Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®. "We are fortunate to live in a city that has experienced stable growth over a number of years with no economic indicators that point to either a boom or a bust, as in some areas of the country. We can have confidence in the retention of our homes’ values.”

December Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in December experienced marked percentage increases across the board including sales, available inventory, pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – and overall total dollar volume on a year-over-year basis.

Total property sales for the month of December reached 6,284, which was up 5.9 percent compared to the same period last year. Additionally, the number of available homes (active listings) at year-end was 39,758 properties, which was an increase of 12.3 percent versus last December and a new record. Year-end pending sales of properties reached 3,803, which was up 16.9 percent from last year, and was another new record and portends for an active beginning in 2005. Months inventory of single-family homes for December remained unchanged from last year at 5.6 months, which is relatively low and shows that demand is keeping up with the available supply of homes.
December (all categories)
All Classes December 2003 December 2004 Percent Change
Total property sales 5,932 6,284 +5.9%
Total dollar volume $1,042,445,601 $1,121,167,857 +7.6%
Average single-family sales price $183,925 $186,990 +1.7%
Median single-family sales price $136,000 $138,000 +1.5%
Active listings 35,394 39,758 +12.3%
Pending sales 3,252 3,803 +16.9%
Months inventory* 5.6 5.6 0.0%
* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior twelve months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.
 
2004 Annual Market Comparison

For the full-year 2004 Houston housing market, it was another record-breaking year that continued its show of strength that has been sustained since 1992. As previously mentioned, property sales were up 10.1 percent for the year, while total dollar volume of properties sold was up 13.8 percent. The average sales price for a single-family home in 2004 was $178,196, or a 1.8 percent increase on a year-over-year basis, with the median.
All Categories
All Classes Full Year 2003 Full Year 2004 Percent Change
Total property sales 65,423 72,015 +10.1%
Total dollar volume $10,758,999,672 $12,248,107,374 +13.8%
Average single-family sales price $175,106 $178,196 +1.8%
Median single-family sales price $135,000 $135,000 0.0%
 
Single-family Homes Update
While the overall median price of single-family homes reached $138,000 in December, which was an increase of 1.5 percent compared to the prior year, the median price for existing homes in 2004 was up 4.5 percent versus the previous 12 months. These figures signal sustained pricing strength in Houston, particularly in the home resale market. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less that that figure.

Houston’s current median price of $138,000 is 26.7 percent less than the national median price, which reached $188,200 in November, according to statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS®. These data continue to show the tremendous value and lower cost of living afforded to Houstonians.

Additionally, total sales for single-family homes in Houston increased by 6.1 percent to 5,165 in December from last year’s 4,868.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in December
  • Reached the highest number of homes ever sold in the month of December.
  • Marked the highest number of available homes (active listings) at year-end.
  • Marked the highest number of pending homes sales at year-end.


  • Houston Real Estate Milestones in 2004
  • Reached the highest number of homes ever sold in a year.
  • Sold more than $12 billion worth of properties.
  • Recorded the highest annual single-family home average sales price.
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    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS includes residential properties and new homes listed by 19,000 REALTORS throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 40,000 properties can be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com.

    The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

    The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

    Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 20,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual membership trade association in Houston, as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.