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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®
February 1999 Sales
February Home Sales Continue String Of Consecutive Monthly Sales Records
 
HOUSTON (March 10, 1999) - The Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS) reported today that 3,513 homes were purchased in February, continuing the market's string of record home sales dating back to June of 1997.

"It's incredible that the Houston market has been able to sustain this high level of home sales for nearly two years," said Mark Woodroof, 1999 chairman of the board for the Houston Association of Realtors.  "In the months to come, even if the market is not toppling monthly records, it will remain one of the strongest nationwide.  We continue to enjoy the winning combination of low unemployment and interest rates, with some of the most affordable prices of any metropolitan area."

HARMLS also reported other record statistics for the month of February.  The median price for single-family homes in the Greater Houston area was $98,000, a 5.9 percent increase over the previous record set in February of '98.  Rising resale prices combined with record home sales resulted in a record total dollar volume for February of $439,954,494. This is the first time that dollar volume in February has crossed the $400 million mark.  The previous high, also set last February, was $374.1 million.

The median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during February was $66,000, the same as last February.

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 pending, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead.

The available inventory increased slightly from January to 21,732, marking the second consecutive monthly increase in listings. "While the increases are modest and they come as we enter a traditional listing period, it's too soon to tell whether enough Houston homeowners will put their homes on the market to significantly affect the supply/demand imbalance we've experienced for the last few years," added Woodroof. The available listings represent a 4.3-month inventory at the current rate of absorption. Less than a 6-month inventory is generally considered a seller's market.

Additionally, single-family home sales sold at a hot pace for February, spending an average of only 87.0 days on the market, down more than 11 days over the same time last year.

Geographic Breakdown - MLS Areas

Single-family home sales statistics show that many HARMLS areas in the seven-county region experienced growth over last February. Among the areas experiencing growth of more than 30 percent were Southeast Montgomery County (including Splendora and New Caney), Hempstead West, Aldine-Westfield, East Harris County (including Baytown, Jacinto City and Galena Park), Northwest Harris County (including Champions and Ponderosa Forest), Pasadena, Far West Harris County, Central Fort Bend County (including Sugar Land and First Colony) and Bear Creek.

The Northwest area, bounded by Interstate 45, Texas 249, Beltway 8 and Spring Cypress, led all areas in February single-family home sales with 207. Bear Creek, located between Eldridge Parkway, Barker-Cypress, Interstate 10 and Highway 290, trailed with 165 home sales. Southwest Montgomery County, including the Woodlands, followed with 145 home sales, Clear Lake with 144 and Hempstead East with 142 sales.

The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 10,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. All reported MLS data is preliminary and subject to changes. 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 21,000 homes, can be found on the Internet at www.HAR.com.
 
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.