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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®
May 2006 Sales
Houston Home Prices Break Through Records; Average Price Tops $200,000
Sales and Pricing Indicates Strong Seller’s Market Likely Through Summer
 
HOUSTON — (June 15, 2006) — Across the country when people discuss real estate, you hear comments like “bubble,” “soft landing,” or “the boom has ended,” but Houston is solidly a seller’s market and the steady strength that has been exhibited during the last decade or more carries on. Many indications point to sustained price appreciation as sales figures continue to keep pace with the number of new listings.

Total property sales for the month totaled 8,629, which was an 11.6 percent increase over May 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $1.7 billion, a 20.9 percent increase compared to last year’s nearly $1.4 billion in April sales. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached an all-time record of $152,000, and the average single-family home price broke through the $200,000 mark for the first time to $204,005, increases from last year of 5.6 and 8.2 percent, respectively.

“While the rest of the country is talking about bubbles ‘deflating,’ we continue to reach new heights in the greater Houston real estate market,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing Director for Greenwood King Properties. “We know that for most people a home is their largest investment, so while we help them achieve their housing dreams, it is also good to know their investment will prove to gain value in the future. These new numbers are definitely good news for our area.”

May Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in May 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 May was 43,362 properties, which was a decrease of 3.6 percent versus last May and the sixth consecutive month with a year-over-year decline. The figure was an increase of approximately 900 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 5,892, which reversed last month’s decline and was up 14.6 percent from last year, and signals a robust June for sales. The months inventory of single-family homes for May came in at 5.4 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 19th consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures.
All Categories May 2005 May 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 7,732 8,629 +11.6%
Total dollar volume $1,215,014,497 $1,468,631,995 +20.9%
Average single-family sales price $188,579 $204,005 +8.2%
Median single-family sales price $144,000 $152,000 +5.6%
Active listings 44,983 43,362 -3.6%
Pending sales 5,143 5,892 +14.6%
Months inventory* 6.1 5.4 -12.8%
* 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 May at $152,000, which was an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the prior year, and the average sales price for single-family homes was $204,005 during May, which was up 8.2 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 $152,000, while an all-time record for the Houston market, is 31.7 percent less than the national median price, which reached $222,700 in April, 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 28 consecutive months that sales have been higher than the same month of the previous year. For May 2006, single-family home sales increased by 11.7 percent to 7,199, up from last year’s 6,443. May 2006 sales reversed last month’s month-over-month decrease and reflect the more controlled, steady 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 May 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 6,187, which was a 13.3 percent increase from May 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $145,500, an increase of 7.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $191,141 was an increase of 7.2 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston was up 4.7 percent for May, with the median sales price for the month being $121,820. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $152,062 in May 2006, which was a 2.8 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in May increased substantially compared to last year’s sales, with 776 units being sold last month, versus 678 properties in May 2005, or a 14.5 percent increase in year-over-year sales.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in May
  • Reached the all-time highest average sales price for single-family homes.
  • Broke through the $200,000 average sales price mark for the first time ever.
  • Marked the all-time highest median sales price for single-family homes.
  • Broke through the $150,000 median sales price for the first time ever.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in the month of May.
  • Recorded the highest number of single-family homes sold in the month of May.
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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.