MLS Press Release

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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®
April 1999 Sales
Second Quarter Starts Strong For Home Sales
 
HOUSTON (May 12, 1999) — With the potential tax benefits of home ownership fresh in their minds, Houstonians made April a banner month for existing home sales, closing on 4,777 transactions, the most ever for the month of April. Neither dwindling inventory nor higher prices are deterring home buyers as the home sales season swings into high gear, according to the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

"Interest rates have moved up a bit in the last week, but still hover around 7 percent," said Mark Woodroof, chairman of the board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "So higher home prices don’t necessarily mean higher mortgage payments for Houstonians who last bought a home during the double-digit interest rates of the 80s."

The 4,777 homes sold in April represent an 18 percent increase over last April. The median price pushed up to $102,990, a 9.5 percent increase. The total dollar volume closed in April was $626,884,202. Buyers opened 4,133 contracts in April, a small increase from April 1998. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.

Available inventory rose to 21,946, up slightly over 21,883 in March. However, this represents a 12 percent dip in active listings compared to 24,961 for the same month last year. With such low inventory, single-family homes sold in April spent an average of only 76 days on the market, down considerably from 86 days on market last April.

MLS also reported the median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during April was $66,500, up 10.8 percent over last April. The median price for high rise properties increased 11 percent over last April to $250,000.

Among the MLS areas reporting April increases in single-family home sales of 40 percent or more were Waller County (700 percent – 16 sales), South Central Houston (225 percent – 18 sales), South Houston (163.64 percent – 29 sales), Bellaire West (61.11 percent – 29 sales), Montgomery County Northeast (46.15 percent – 57 sales) Montgomery County Southeast (41.67 percent – 17 sales), Far West Houston (41.33 percent – 106 sales), Fort Bend West (41.25 – 113 sales) and Hempstead East (40 percent – 189 sales).

The Northwest Area, located between Interstate 45 and FM 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, led all areas in April single-family home sales with 286, followed by Bear Creek with 236 home sales and Galveston County with 196 home sales.
 
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.