MLS Press Release

Media Contacts

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®
September 1998 Sales
Home Buyers Set September Record With 4,332 Home Sales
Realtors Kept Pace with Record Demand in 3rd Quarter
 
HOUSTON (October 16, 1998) - Residential properties in Houston were scooped up in September at a record-setting pace, breaking the previous September records for total sales, total dollar volume and median price, and moving the industry closer to all-time annual highs for the area.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS), Realtors closed a record 4,332 sales in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 38,297. The monthly total topped the previous record set last year by more than 17 percent. Record home sales, coupled with a September record-high single-family median price of $98,300, resulted in $630,446,068 in total dollar volume for the month of September.

Other indicators of a brisk market include the average days on market, contracts pending and available listings. In September, homes spent an average of 77.0 days on the market, down a full 19 days from last September. Buyers opened 3,248 contracts, a slight decrease from last year, although many Realtors report sales closing so quickly they never make the pending list. Active listings for September dipped 2.7 percent to 23,657.

"These numbers indicate that the demand for homes in the Houston area is still high," added Stephens. "Despite the world turmoil, the diversity of our local economy provided stability, keeping Realtors extremely busy during the third quarter of 1998."

Third Quarter 1998 - Most Productive Ever

September capped the most prolific quarter of real estate in Houston history with 14,595 homes sold during the third quarter of 1998. That number is up 21.4 percent over last year and represents the largest number of homes ever sold in any quarter. Additionally, Realtors recorded more than $1.96 billion in transactions during the quarter, as well as a single-family median price for the quarter of $100,667, both new record highs.

Several MLS areas in Houston and the surrounding seven counties experienced growth compared to the third quarter of 1997. Waller County experienced a 50.0 percent increase in resale single-family home sales. Other areas that reported strong third quarter increases include Northeast Harris County (47.2 percent); Montgomery County Northwest (44.2 percent); Far West Harris County (40.6 percent); South Katy (39.5 percent); Far Northeast Harris County (35.8 percent); East Hempstead (35.5 percent); and North Houston (35.2 percent); Spring Branch (35.2 percent); Montgomery County Southwest (33.5 percent); West Houston (32.5 percent); and East Fort Bend County (31.5 percent). In all, 55 percent of the MLS areas experienced growth of more than 20 percent in the third quarter.

The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, led all areas in total single-family home sales during the third quarter with 809, followed Montgomery County Southwest with 749 and Bear Creek with 642.

Key Year-to-Date Statistics

The Houston real estate market is surpassing the records set in 1997. Through the first nine months of 1998, total existing home sales stand at 38,297, up 25.3 percent over the first three quarters of 1997. Total contracts pended are up 8.5 percent from 1997 to 34,265.
 
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 10,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. All reported MLS data is preliminary and subject to changes. The Houston Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in Houston and the largest local Realtor association in the nation. Residential home sales statistics, as well as listing information for more than 22,000 homes, can be found on the Internet at http://www.HAR.com.