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®
October 2005 Sales
Houston Area Real Estate Sales Bounce Back From Hurricane Delay
Market Appears to be Tightening, as Months Inventory and Active Listings Signal Seller’s Market
 
HOUSTON – (November 15, 2005) – Two weeks of September inactivity from Hurricane Rita reversed itself as sales were pushed into early October, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Total sales for single-family homes in Houston increased by 12.0 percent to 5,236 in October, up from last year’s 4,674.

Total property sales for the month totaled 6,423, which was a 13.1 percent increase over October 2004. Properties sold during the month reached a total of more than $1.1 billion, a 21.7 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $900 million in October sales. Additionally, year-to-date total property sales reached 66,040, which is an increase of 9.0 percent over the same period of 2004.

“Despite the two hurricanes and interest rate increases, the resilient Houston area real estate market remains on track to mark 2005 as the best year ever in housing sales,” said Toni C. Nelson, HAR Chair and Division Vice President for Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®. “Interestingly, October was the second month in a row for the months inventory indicator to decrease, and by a good margin, so that could signal a potential tightening in the market and a possible shift to even more of a seller’s market.”

October Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in October saw increases across the board including total property sales, average sales prices, median sales price, 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.

The number of available homes (active listings), at the end of October was 43,303 properties, which was an increase of only 0.1 percent versus last October but down 1.1 percent from last month, likely due to hurricane-related impact. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 4,105, which was up 8.0 percent from last year and bodes well for a more-active-than-normal November. The months inventory of single-family homes for October continued its downward trend to 5.7 months, which remains low, signaling more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes.
October (all categories)
All Classes Ocotber 2004 October 2005 Percent Change
Total property sales 5,680 6,423 +13.1%
Total dollar volume $938,085,645 $1,141,380,202 +21.7%
Average single-family sales price $174,116 $189,141 +8.6%
Median single-family sales price $132,500 $142,000 +7.2%
Active listings 43,243 43,303 +0.1%
Pending sales 3,801 4,105 -8.0%
Months inventory* 6.3 5.7 -9.6%
* 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 reached $142,000 in October, which was an increase of 7.2 percent compared to the prior year, and the average price for single-family homes reached $189,141 which was up 8.6 percent versus the same period last year. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that figure. Both the median and average sales prices were monthly records for October.

Houston’s current median price of $142,000 is 33.0 percent less than the national median price, which reached $212,200 in September, 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 12.0 percent to 5,236 in October, up from last year’s 4,674. In the first 10 months of 2005, 54,581 single-family homes sold, which was a 9.1 percent increase over the 50,025 homes sold during the same period in 2004.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of October 2005, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,556, which was a 13.8 percent increase from October 2004. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $135,500, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $177,535 was an increase of 7.8 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston rose by 4.3 percent, from $106,450 in October 2004 to $111,000 last month. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $142,225 in October 2005, which was a slight 0.7percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in October continued last month’s trend and increased this month compared to last year’s sales, with 570 units being sold last month, versus 542 properties in October 2004. So far, year-to date, 5,815 townhouse/condos have sold, which was a 1.6 percent increase compared to the 5,721 units sold during the same period of 2004.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in October
  • Reached the highest number of properties sold in October.
  • Reached the highest monthly average sales price for single-family homes in October.
  • Marked the highest monthly median sales price for single-family homes in October.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in October.
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    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 22,000 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 about 43,000 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 23,000-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.