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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®
April 2006 Sales
Houston Real Estate Rides the Fence, While Nation Shifts To Buyer's Market
Record Sales and Prices Help Keep Area Housing Robust
 
HOUSTON — (May 19, 2006) — It would seem impossible for a real estate market to be good for both buyers and sellers, but Houston uniquely holds that honor. As sales flatten or even decline nationally, Houston enters the summer buying and selling season showing signs of healthy sales and price records, which means that those selling homes and those buying homes enjoy a market that is affordable and increasingly profitable.

Total property sales for the month totaled 7,053, which was a 5.1 percent increase over April 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of more than $1.3 billion, a 9.6 percent increase compared to last year’s nearly $1.2 billion in April sales. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached $147,000, and the average home price rose to $196,630, both increases from last year of 6.9 and 5.2 percent, respectively. Both the median and average sales prices were all-time records for the Houston market.

“It is times like these that we feel fortunate to work in real estate in the greater Houston area, with our continued growth and affordable market that mean ‘slow and steady wins the race’ in real estate transactions and satisfaction,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing Director for Greenwood King Properties. “It is great to work in an environment in which sellers can get the best price our market has to bear and buyers can choose from a variety of affordable inventory.”

April Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in April saw increases in most categories, including total property sales, average sales price, median sales price, and overall total dollar volume on a year-over-year basis.

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of April was 44,144 properties, which was a decrease of 3.8 percent versus last April and the fifth consecutive month with a year-over-year decline. The figure was an increase of approximately 550 properties from last month though, which shows there are still plenty of available homes for purchase.

Month-end pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – reached 5,043, which was down 1.9 percent from last year, and signals a slightly less busy May for sales. The months inventory of single-family homes for April 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 April reporting the 18th consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures.
All Categories April 2005 April 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 6,708 7,053 +5.1%
Total dollar volume $1,188,392,600 $1,302,945,928 +9.6%
Average single-family sales price $186,845 $196,630 +5.2%
Median single-family sales price $137,500 $147,000 +6.9%
Active listings 44,144 42,480 -3.8%
Pending sales 5,141 5,043 -1.9%
Months inventory* 6.2 5.3 -14.0%
* 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 April at $147,000, which was an increase of 6.9 percent compared to the prior year, and the average sales price for single-family homes was $196,630 during April, which was up 5.2 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 $147,000, while an all-time record for the Houston market, is 32.4 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 27 consecutive months that sales have been higher than the same month of the previous year. For April 2006, single-family home sales increased by 3.3 percent to 5,721, up from last year’s 5,537. April 2006 sales decreased on a month-over-month basis, after March’s unusually early strength, and reflect the more controlled growth that has been seen in this market for the last few years.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of April 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,904, which was a 3.8 percent increase from April 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $139,900, an increase of 7.7 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $182,764 was an increase of 3.7 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston was up 7.3 percent for April, with the median sales price for the month being $118,000. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $145,953 in April 2006, which was a scant 0.3 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in April increased substantially compared to last year’s sales, with 694 units being sold last month, versus 601 properties in April 2005, or a 15.5 percent increase in year-over-year sales.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in April
  • Reached the all-time highest average sales price for single-family homes.
  • Marked the all-time highest median sales price for single-family homes.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in the month of April.
  • Recorded the highest number of single-family homes sold in the month of April.
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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