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®
January 2006 Sales
Houston Housing Sales And Prices Rise, While National Activity Slows
Houston Market Continues to Differentiate From Nationwide Real Estate Trends
 
HOUSTON – (February 21, 2006) – The Houston real estate market experienced continued strength as 2006 began with the highest sales on record for the month of January, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Many other parts of the country have seen weakness at the beginning of the year, but the Houston housing market is as strong as ever, with monthly records for sales volume and prices.

Total property sales for the month totaled 4,584, which was a 16.4 percent increase over January 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $775 million, an 18.6 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $650 million in January sales. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached $138,110, and the average home price rose to $179,160, both increases from last year of 4.4 percent.

“The greater Houston housing market should never be underestimated, as real estate has been one of the reliable backbones for the local economy for quite some time,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing & Project Manager for Greenwood King Properties. “Signs are already surfacing that indicate 2006 will be another banner year for the real estate market in the region. Pending sales for February are outpacing the total number of sales from the same month last year, and the Houston home market has never been in better shape.”

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in January saw increases across the board including total property sales, average sales prices, median sales price, 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 January was 40,814 properties, which was a decrease of 1.3 percent versus last January. The figure was an increase of approximately 900 properties from last month though, which was a reversal from the last five months of month-over-month declines. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 4,349, which was up 19.3 percent from last year, and already signals a stronger February 2006, compared to 4,078 properties sold in February 2005. The months inventory of single-family homes for January also came in at 5.2 months, which signals more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes.
All Categories January 2005 January 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 3,937 4,584 +16.4%
Total dollar volume $652,834,102 $774,030,303 +18.6%
Average single-family sales price $171,670 $179,160 +4.4%
Median single-family sales price $132,300 $138,110 +4.4%
Active listings 41,338 40,814 -1.3%
Pending sales 3,645 4,349 +19.3%
Months inventory* 5.8 5.2 -9.3%
* 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 a record for the month of January at $138,110, which was an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the prior year, and the average sales price for single-family homes eased after two months of setting all-time records, with the average home selling for $179,160 during January, which was also up 4.4 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.

Houston’s current median price of $138,110 is 34.0 percent less than the national median price, which reached $209,300 in December, 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 13.2 percent to 3,641 in January, up from last year’s 3,217.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of January 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 3,145, which was a 17.8 percent increase from January 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $131,000, an increase of 5.2 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $169,202 was an increase of 5.8 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston rose by 5.7 percent, from $106,000 in January 2005 to $111,990 last month. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $137,790 in January 2006, which was a 0.3 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in January increased this month compared to last year’s sales, with 406 units being sold last month, versus 352 properties in January 2005.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in January
  • Reached the highest average sales price for single-family homes in the month of     January.
  • Marked the highest median sales price for single-family homes in the month of January.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in the month of January.
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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.