Single-family home prices hold up amid seventh consecutive monthly slide in overall property sales; home sales reach highest level of 2008
HOUSTON (April 15, 2008) Total property sales across greater Houston tumbled for the seventh consecutive month in March while sales of single-family homes edged up to the highest level so far this year, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR).
Sales of all property types for March 2008 totaled 6,098, which represents a 17.3 percent drop compared to March 2007. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month was recorded at $1.2 billion compared to $1.4 billion one year earlier, a 16.7 percent decline. The average price of a single-family home continued to increase, growing by 2.0 percent last month from March 2007 to $208,105. The median price of a single-family home was flat at $151,000.
Home buyers and other consumers are tightening their belts during some of the toughest economic times weve experienced in decades, said Michael Levitin, HAR chairman and principal of HTownRealty.com. Many of those postponing home purchases are opting to rent for now, while those who have sold homes recently are reaping the rewards of pricing that has held steady even as sales have cooled. Houston continues to fare better than the rest of the country on the housing front and new employment figures show us leading the way with strong, sustainable job growth. Throw in historically low interest rates and Houstons comparatively low cost of living and theres every reason to believe that local consumer confidence will improve and help boost the real estate market.
March Monthly Market Comparison
All listing categories combined, Houstons overall housing market in March saw mixed results. The average single-family home sales price rose on a year-over-year basis while the median price held steady; total property sales and total dollar volume dropped.
The number of available homes, or active listings, at the end of March was 52,270 properties, a 9.2 percent increase over March 2007. The figure was up 962 properties from February 2008, reflecting the continuing sales slowdown.
Month-end pending sales those listings expected to close within the next 30 days reached 4,585, which was 18.9 percent lower than last year and suggests the possibility of another sales decline next month. The months inventory of single-family homes for March came in at 6.3 months, a slight increase from Februarys 6.1-month figure. This compares to the March 2007 single-family homes inventory of 5.5 months.
The Days on Market statistic for March dropped to 87 from 92 a month earlier but exceeded the 80 days recorded in March 2007.
At $126,950, the median price in the townhouse/condominium segment in Houston fell 6.2 percent from March 2007 to 2008. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condominium sold in the greater Houston area was $159,012 last month, down 9.7 percent compared to March 2007.
March sales of townhouses and condominiums reached the highest level since August 2007 but were down from one year earlier. In the greater Houston area, 538 units were sold last month versus 588 properties in March 2007, translating to an 8.5 percent decrease in year-over-year sales.
Houston Real Estate Milestones in March