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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 2007 Sales
2007 CONCLUDES AS THE SECOND BEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR PROPERTY SALES IN HOUSTON

Average and median single-family home prices continue to rise despite a fourth consecutive decline in sales in December

 

HOUSTON — (January 16, 2008) — The year 2007 shaped up to be one of the best on record for property sales in Houston, second only to 2006, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). That milestone was achieved despite a fourth consecutive decline in sales in December that reflects the effects of the real estate slowdown that has taken a particularly heavy toll on markets outside Texas.

Total property sales for December registered 5,957, representing a 23.5 percent decline compared to December 2006. However, total dollar volume for 2007 reached its highest level ever with year-end sales of 83,432 properties totaling $16.6 billion. The average single-family home price for December rose 5.7 percent from last December to $216,433, while the median home price for a single-family home increased 2.4 percent to $153,630. The full-year median sales price was $152,000, or an increase of 1.6 percent compared to 2006. The full-year average sales price was $206,393, or an increase of 3.9 percent compared to last year.

“Having the second best year on record for property sales and a record dollar volume level is no small achievement, especially in light of what other markets are experiencing,” said Michael Levitin, HAR Chairman and principal of HTownRealty.com. “Although the nation faces tough economic times as a result of the subprime mortgage meltdown, Houston has the distinct advantage of a vibrant job market and healthy energy industry base. That, coupled with the continued increase in home pricing, gives us reason to enter 2008 with a sense of cautious optimism about the local marketplace.”

December Monthly Market Comparison
All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in December saw continued mixed results. Despite declines in total property sales and total dollar volume, there were increases in both average and median sales prices on a year-over-year basis. Total year-to-date property sales were down 5.0 percent.

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of December was 49,566 properties, which was an increase of 14.1 percent versus last December. The figure was a decrease of 1,741 properties from November 2007, reflecting a continued slowdown in the pace of new listings. The industry considers this a positive indicator for the market, as lower inventories generally support pricing levels.

Month-end pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – reached 3,773, which was down 13.6 percent from last year and signals another likely decline in sales next month after recent volatility in sales figures. The month’s inventory of single-family homes for December came in at 5.9 months, a decline from November’s 6.1-month figure and the lowest level Houston recorded since April. This compares to the December 2006 single-family homes inventory of 5.0 months.

 
ALL CATEGORIES DECEMBER 2006 DECEMBER 2007 PERCENT CHANGE
Total property sales 7,361 5,957 -19.1%
Total dollar volume $1,475,069,282 $1,251,800,190 -15.1%
Average single-family sales price $204,843 $216,433 +5.7%
Median single-family sales price $150,000 $153,630 +2.4%
Total active listings 43,438 49,566 +14.1%
Total pending sales 4,369 3,773 -13.6%
Months inventory* 5.0 5.9 +18.0%
* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.
 
Single-Family Homes Update
The overall median price of single-family homes in December was $153,630, an increase of 2.4 percent compared to December 2006. The median is the typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that figure. The average sales price for single-family homes was $216,433 during December, up 5.7 percent versus the same period last year. It was the highest figure since June 2007.

Houston's 2007 median price of $152,000 is 30.1 percent less than the national single-family median price of $217,600, according to statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). These data continue to demonstrate the higher value and lower cost of living that Houstonians enjoy.

Additionally, total sales of single-family homes in Houston in December came in at 4,976, which was 18.3 percent lower than December 2006 and the biggest decline of 2007. Full-year sales of single-family homes ended on a negative note at year-end, down 4.1 percent versus 2006. NAR recently forecast a 12.5 percent year-over-year decline in national home sales, however the Houston market fared much better.

HAR also reports existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. In December 2007, existing single-family home sales totaled 3,916, which was a 20 percent drop from December 2006. At $140,000, the median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was flat compared to the same period last year. The average sales price of $196,560 for the month represented an increase of 4.8 percent from last year’s level.

The Days on Market statistic for December rose to 85, the longest period in 2007 and in excess of the 81 days in December 2006, but remains historically low and indicates that homes that are selling are doing so fairly quickly.

Townhouse/Condo Update
At $137,000, the median price in the townhouse/condominium segment in Houston fell 7.4 percent from December 2006 to 2007, but was up 4.3 percent from November 2007. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condominium sold in the greater Houston area was $173,693 last month, which was a 1.2 percent year-over-year decline, but a 6.9 percent increase from November 2007.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in December

  • Best year on record for property sales since 2005;
  • Highest dollar volume ever for property sales;
  • Highest average single-family sales price for the month of December;
  • Highest median single-family sales price for the month of December.
 
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 26,000 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 53,000 properties may 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 27,000-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.