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®
January 1999 Sales
Realtors Begin 1999 With A January-Record 2,782 Resale Home Sales
 
HOUSTON (February 10, 1999) ---The Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS) reported today that 2,782 homes were purchased in January, continuing the market's string of record home sales dating back to June of 1997.

"Despite some turbulence in the energy sector over the past few months, sales of existing residential properties remain high," said Mark Woodroof, 1999 chairman of the board for the Houston Association of Realtors.  "Among the many factors driving Houstonians towards home ownership are the lowest interest rates in decades coupled with the rapidly escalating cost of apartment rents over the past year, a trend which is forecasted again for this year."

HARMLS also reported other record statistics for the month of January.  The median price for single-family homes in the Greater Houston area was $92,500, a 5.1 percent increase over the previous record set in January of '98.  Rising resale prices combined with record home sales resulted in a record total dollar volume for January of $326,878,206. This is the first time that dollar volume in January has crossed the $300 million mark.  The previous high, also set last January, was $264.4 million.

The median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during January was $64,780, up 10.7 percent over last January.  The median price for high rise properties was up 13 percent from last January to $212,000.  Also notable among the other residential classes was a 22 percent jump in the sales of lots in January to 171

Home buyers opened 2,853 contracts in January, a 4.9 percent decrease compared to 3,000 during the same month last year.  Contracts opened, also referred to as pended, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead. 

The available inventory increased slightly from December to 21,651.  This represents a 4.3-month inventory at the current rate of absorption.  Additionally, single-family home sales sold at a hot pace for January, spending an average of only 88.0 days on the market.

Geographic Breakdown - MLS Areas

Single-family home sales statistics show that 75 percent of all HARMLS areas in the seven-county region experienced growth over last January.  Among the areas experiencing growth of more than 40 percent were Hempstead West, South Houston, Aldine-Westfield, Southeast Montgomery County (including Splendora and New Caney), North Central Houston (including The Heights), Central Fort Bend County (including Sugar Land and First Colony), Northeast Harris County (including Humble and Atascocita), Northeast Montgomery County (including Conroe), South Katy, Far West Harris County and Waller County.

Southwest Montgomery County, including the Woodlands, led all areas in January single-family home sales with 128.  The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, trailed only slightly with 120 home sales.  Clear Lake and Galveston County, including Galveston, Texas City and LaMarque, each sold 117 homes.
 
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by more than 17,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. For specific questions regarding a certain area, contact your Realtor. 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 include 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.)

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 34,000 listings can be found on the Internet at http://www.HAR.com.