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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®
MLS Report for November 2010

HOUSTON HOME PRICES REACH A NOVEMBER HIGH WHILE SALES VOLUME REMAINS COOL FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

Low and high ends of the housing market record the greatest sales volume


HOUSTON — (December 21, 2010) — For the fifth month in a row following expiration of the 2010 homebuyer tax credit, sales of single-family homes across Greater Houston declined in November while the prices of those homes rose. Despite the lingering sales chill, the market enjoyed boosts in both the average and median price, achieving the highest levels ever seen in a November.

According to the latest monthly data compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), November sales of single-family homes throughout the Houston market fell 22.0 percent when compared to November 2009. However, on a year-to-date basis, 2010 single-family home sales are off just 5.6 percent from 2009 levels. Positive sales activity was recorded in the low and high ends of the housing market, with declines affecting homes priced between $80,000 and $500,000.

Luxury home sales helped drive the latest pricing gains. The average price of a single-family home increased 11.8 percent from November 2009 to $219,560 while the November single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—edged up 1.7 percent from one year earlier to $152,500.

Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) declined 9.3 percent in November compared to one year earlier. Foreclosures comprised 19.6 percent of all property sales in November—2.3 percent less than the month before and generally consistent with the levels they have maintained for much of 2010. The median price of November foreclosures fell 15.3 percent to $78,750 on a year-over-year basis.

November sales of all property types in Houston totaled 4,200, down 22.2 percent compared to November 2009. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month was $906 million versus $1.0 billion one year earlier, representing an 11.6 percent drop.

"The November report suggests to me that the Houston real estate market is taking a considerable amount of time to recover from the end of the whirlwind pace of sales triggered earlier this year by the homebuyer tax credit," said Margie Dorrance, HAR chair and principal at Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan. "Bright spots in the housing report include what appears to be improvement in pending sales and, of course, the continued price appreciation not seen in most other markets. The next couple of months will hopefully enable us to gauge the overall market performance that we can expect in 2011."

November Monthly Market Comparison

The month of November brought Houston's overall housing market mixed results when all listing categories are compared to November of 2009. Total property sales and total dollar volume fell on a year-over-year basis while the average and median single-family home sales prices rose.

Month-end pending sales for November totaled 2,583, down 5.8 percent from last year, suggesting another month of lower demand when the December figures are tallied. However, the November decline was a dramatic improvement from the 23.2 percent and 17.2 percent hits the market suffered in October and September, respectively. The number of available properties, or active listings, at the end of November rose 14.1 percent from November 2009 to 51,875. The growth in available inventory coupled with declining sales volume pushed the November inventory of single-family homes to 7.6 months compared to 6.0 months one year earlier. The figure is still the lowest in six months and remains favorable compared to the national inventory of single-family homes of 10.5 months reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

CATEGORIES November 2009 November 2010 PERCENT CHANGE
Total property sales 5,395 4,200 -22.2%
Total dollar volume $1,024,845,027 $905,699,783 -11.6%
Total active listings 45,452 51,875 14.1%
Total pending sales 2,741 2,583 -5.8%
Single-family home sales 4,548 3,549 -22.0%
Single-family average sales price $196,310 $219,560 11.8%
Single-family median sales price $150,000 $152,500 1.7%
Months inventory* 6.0 7.6 25.8%
* 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

November sales of single-family homes in Houston totaled 4,200, down 22.0 percent from November 2009. This marks the fifth monthly decline in sales volume following four consecutive months of accelerated sales attributed largely to the tax credit. However, on a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are off 5.6 percent from 2009 levels.

Broken out by segment, November sales of homes priced below $80K increased 24.4 percent; sales of homes in the $80K-$150K range fell 35.5 percent; sales of homes between $150K and $250K were off 33.4 percent; sales of homes ranging from $250K-$500K slid 8.5 percent; and sales of homes that make up the luxury market—priced from $500K and up—rose 23.2 percent.

Single Family Home Sales

The average price of single-family homes in November was $219,560, up 11.8 percent compared to one year earlier. That is the highest level recorded for a November in Houston. At $152,500, the median sales price for single-family homes edged up 1.7 percent versus November 2009, achieving its highest level for a November in Houston. The national single-family median price reported by NAR is $171,100, illustrating the continued higher value and lower cost of living that consumers enjoy in Houston.
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales performance of existing single-family homes throughout the Houston market. In November 2010, existing home sales totaled 2,914, a 21.0 percent decline from November 2009. The average sales price climbed 15.6 percent to $209,080 compared to last year, while the median sales price of $139,250 was flat.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

The number of townhouses and condominiums that sold in November fell 36.6 percent compared to one year earlier. In the greater Houston area, 315 units were sold last month versus 497 properties in November 2009.

The average price dipped 0.7 percent to $160,202 from November 2009 to November 2010. The median price of a townhouse/condominium declined 12.0 percent to $117,910.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales

Lease Property Update

Demand for single-family home rentals rose 24.0 percent in November compared to one year earlier. Year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals increased 41.6 percent.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in November
  • At $219,560, the average price of a single-family home reached the highest level recorded for a November in Houston;
  • At $152,500, the median price of a single-family home also reached the highest level recorded for a November in Houston;
  • 7.6 months inventory of single-family homes compares favorably to the national average of 10.5 months and is the lowest figure seen in Houston since May 2010.

  • 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 50,000 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 26,000-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 dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

    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