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®
July 1997 Sales
July Home Sales Shatter Sales, Volume, Price Records
Market Records One Half Billion Dollars in Home Sales for July
 
For the first time in recorded Houston real estate history, total dollar volume for a single month surpassed a half billion dollars, according to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Multiple Listing Service (MLS). HAR also reported that total closed sales and single-family median price were among the other home sales records shattered in July.

July's numbers are exciting for buyers, sellers and the industry, and all future indicators point to continued growth in the coming months, said Robin Mueck, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. The record number of home sales and persistently low inventory over the past two years, the number of currently pending contracts, plus a continuing trend towards homes selling more quickly, are all solid indicators that the Houston residential market will continue to perform at record levels.

Following a decade of rebuilding, the Houston market is stronger than ever. HAR reported that 4,243 homes were sold in the month of July, a 10 percent increase over last July and a 3.8 percent increase over the previous monthly record set in August 1988.

The median price of single-family homes in Houston has been steadily increasing over the past two quarters. In July, the median price hit $95,000, breaking the previous record of $94,900 set just last month. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less. Rising prices and record sales combined to produce the largest total dollar volume ever reported for a single month, $522,494,052 for the month of July. The total dollar volume is up 20.5 percent over last July and 6.6 percent over the previous record.

According to Dr. Ted C. Jones, chief economist for Stewart Title, the strong job market in Houston may be playing the largest role in the real estate market s solid growth.

Houston has had tremendously strong job growth over the past year. The number of jobs has increased 2.1 percent, while the number of homes available through resale home listings and new construction has only increased 1.7 percent, said Jones. With more people working than ever, plenty of affordable homes and interest rates as low as they are, it s no surprise that, the market is doing so well.

The number of resale homes available dipped below the 30,000-mark to 29,927, the lowest July inventory since 1982. Additionally, single-family homes spent an average of only 92.1 days on the market in July, a statistic that has been steadily decreasing since January.

In July, Houston home buyers opened 3,986 new contracts, up 10.5 percent from the 3,608 contracts opened in July 1996. Contracts opened, also referred to as pended, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead. More than 75 percent of the seven-county region s MLS areas experienced some growth over July 1996, which previously was the best July on record. The Fort Bend Central area increased single-family home sales 39 percent over last July and sold 200 single-family homes, only the third MLS area to ever reach that mark. Other areas of Fort Bend County also experienced significant growth, as did the Bellaire South Area (27.7 percent), the Bear Creek Area (25.5 percent), the Hempstead East Area (24.4 percent) and Montgomery County Southwest, including The Woodlands, (20 percent).

The Northwest Area, located between Interstate 45 and FM 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, continued to lead all areas in total single-family home sales with 240 homes sold in July.
 
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 10,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. All reported MLS data is preliminary and subject to changes. 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 22,000 homes, can be found on the Internet at http://www.HAR.com.