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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®
March 2006 Sales
Houston Housing Sales Heat Up With Pre-Summer Temperatures
March Brings in Record-Breaking Home Sales and Out-Performs the U.S.
 
HOUSTON — (April 25, 2006) — March home sales in the greater Houston area reached near all-time record levels. Sales reported set a new record for the month and were the third highest level ever. Houston’s uniquely balanced market shows continued strength in homes sales and prices, while still providing an affordable market for home buyers.

As we enter the traditional peak home buying and selling season this summer, Houston stats are climbing along with our temperatures.

“You never want to claim good weather as the reason for anything—that is just tempting fate in Houston—but the early heat up in temperatures and the relatively few number of days with rain have definitely contributed to the early heat up in housing sales,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing Director for Greenwood King Properties. “Almost all of the analysts and industry experts predicted that 2006 would be a very strong year but would not match last year’s amazing sales. So far, Houston is exceeding those expectations, and, if all the factors continue to line up, 2006 will be the best year ever for real estate in the region.”

Total property sales for the month totaled 8,015, which was a 22.4 percent increase over March 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $1.5 billion, a 32.4 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $1.1 billion in March sales. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached $143,310, and the average home price rose to $193,640, both increases from last year of 5.4 and 8.5 percent, respectively.

March Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in March saw substantial increases in most categories, including total property sales, average sales price, 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 March was 41,948 properties, which was a decrease of 2.8 percent versus last March. The figure was an increase of approximately 1,100 properties from last month though, which shows there are still plenty of available homes for purchase. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 5,506, which was up 7.6 percent from last year, and echoes the strong sales figures for the month. The months inventory of single-family homes for March came in at 5.3 months. This statistic signals more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes, as displayed by March reporting the 17th consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures.
All Categories March 2005 March 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 6,548 8,015 +22.4%
Total dollar volume $1,114,378,189 $1,475,233,100 +32.4%
Average single-family sales price $178,519 $193,640 +8.5%
Median single-family sales price $136,000 $143,310 +5.4%
Active listings 43,152 41,948 -2.8%
Pending sales 5,118 5,506 +7.6%
Months inventory* 6.0 5.3 -12.3%
* 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 March at $143,310, which was an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the prior year, and the average sales price for single-family homes was $193,640 during March, which was up 8.5 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 $143,310 is 34.0 percent less than the national median price, which reached $217,300 in March, 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 continued its streak of year-over-year increases, marking 26 consecutive months that sales have been higher than the same month of the previous year. For March 2006, single-family home sales increased by 22.0 percent to 6,542 in March, up from last year’s 5,363. March 2006 sales were only 152 homes fewer than the peak selling month of June last year. It is also the third highest month of all time in Houston for single-family home sales.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of March 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 5,529, which was a 22.9 percent increase from March 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $136,990, an increase of 7.0 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $180,211 was an increase of 7.4 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston was flat for March, with the median sales price for both March 2005 and March 2006 being $117,500. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $149,780 in March 2006, which was a 2.0 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in March increased substantially compared to last year’s sales, with 720 units being sold last month, versus 582 properties in March 2005, or a 23.7 percent increase in year-over-year sales.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in March
  • Reached the highest average sales price for single-family homes in the month of March.
  • Marked the highest median sales price for single-family homes in the month of March.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in the month of March.
  • Recorded the highest number of single-family homes sold in the month of March.
  • Reached the third highest number of single-family homes ever sold in a month.
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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.

    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