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®
February 2003 Sales
Home-Buying Season Gears Up Despite War Concerns
Record Number of Available Homes in Houston Market
 
HOUSTON (March 18, 2003) - Available inventory is at an all-time high in the greater-Houston area as sellers begin to prepare for home-buying season. According to the Houston Association of Realtors'® Multiple Listing Service, Realtors listed 23 percent more properties in the MLS system in February when compared to last February. Currently there are 34,598 Realtor listings in the system, with 3,269 sales slated to close during the next month.

Additionally, home sales have remained stable, increasing by 9 sales this February versus last February.

"Ongoing tension with Iraq and the potential of war has Houston homebuyers cautious with many taking a wait-and-see attitude before they purchase a home, especially in the upper end market." said Dovie Morgan, Chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. "But, in spite of the pending war with Iraq, the housing market still remains active, with mortgage rates at a historical low."

In a recent article released by the National Association of Realtors®, economist David Lereah said the length of war will be a primary concern.

"If the Iraqi regime is toppled in short order, there likely will be modest disruption to the U.S. economy and housing markets, and confidence will be restored," he said. "However, a prolonged conflict or an unexpected turn of events could be very costly. The result would be growing federal budget deficits that would cause interest rates to rise and put the brakes on both housing and the economy, not to mention consumer confidence."

All listing categories combined, Houston's market showed an increase in sales and available listings.
February Market Comparison (all categories)
February 2002 February 2003 Percent Change
Total home sales 4,104 4,115 +0.03%
Total dollar volume $624 million $623 million -0.16%
Active listings 28,126 34,598 +23%
Pending sales 3,288 3,269 -0.6%
 
Single-family homes update

Total sales for single-family homes decreased to 3,298, representing 51 less listings sold than last year's figure of 3,349. The median price of single-family homes in February reached $128,750 representing a 2 percent increase over last February's $126,000.

February county comparison

The MLS system serves as an aggregate for Houston and its surrounding counties. Sales activity may be brisk in one area, and not necessarily the other. The following chart illustrates the sales activity for single-family homes in each of the major counties that represent the majority of the listings in the MLS including Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria and Montgomery counties.
Single-Family Resale Homes Listed by Realtors
# of Sales
Feb 2002 Feb 2003 % Change
Harris 2,468 2,223 -9.9%
Fort Bend 337 315 -6.5%
Montgomery 247 235 -4.9%
Brazoria 97 103 +6.2%
Median Price
Feb 2002 Feb 2003 % Change
$110,000 $114,900 +4.5%
$138,000 $138,000 +/- 0
$126,000 $134,000 +6.3%
$116,000 $125,620 +8.3%

Single-Family New Homes Listed by Realtors*
# of Sales
Feb 2002 Feb 2003 % Change
Harris 299 298 - 0.3%
Fort Bend 100 79 - 21%
Montgomery 59 58 - 1.7%
Brazoria 28 21 - 25%
Median Price
Feb 2002 Feb 2003 % Change
$238,875 $208,950 - 12.5%
$189,348 $191,950 +1.4%
$177,840 $165,342 - 7.0%
$167,702 $180,490 + 7.6%
* This chart represents new homes that are listed by Realtors, and is not representative of all new homes sold in these areas.
 
Houston Real Estate Milestones
  • Highest level of inventory since August 1994
  • Most sales ever recorded in the month of February
  • Highest median price ever recorded for single-family homes
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    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.