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®
June 1998 Sales
June Home Sales Break The 5,000-Home Barrier
Median Price for Single-Family Homes Soars to $104,000
 
HOUSTON (July 14, 1998) -- The Houston real estate market broke through several new barriers for closed sales, median price and total dollar volume in June as the market continues to escalate in 1998, according to statistics reported today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service (HAR MLS).

Houston home buyers purchased 5,315 homes in June, marking the first time ever that area home sales have crossed the 5,000 mark in one month. This represents a 15.6 percent increase over the previous high of 4,596, set only last month, and a 31.1 percent increase over the previous June total of 4,053.

Sellers also realized more for their homes in June. The median price last month for single-family homes sold in the Houston area reached $104,000 – shattering the $100,000 barrier for the first time ever. The value was 7.2 percent higher than May's median, also the previous record, and 9.6 percent higher than last June. The median price indicates that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

"Over the past few decades, Houston has proven to be an indicator of how the real estate market across the nation will perform. Other major cities are starting to experience the same trends that we have seen since early last year," noted George Stephens, 1998 chairman of the board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "For example, after the Houston market faltered in the late 80s, several major markets began to dip dramatically. Our continued growth is exciting news for the country."

The number of contracts pending, one traditional indicator of how the Houston market will fare over the next 30 to 60 days, can now be used to illustrate how rapidly homes are moving.

"In May, there were 4,055 contracts open, yet Houston recorded more than 5,300 home sales in June. This is a good indication that some homes in some areas are moving so quickly that they are placed on the market and sold between the beginning and the end of a calendar month, meaning that they never make the open contracts list at the end of the month," added Stephens.

Home buyers opened 4,283 contracts in June - the largest number of contracts opened in June or any other month. It was a 6.9 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

In the month of June, Realtors recorded a total dollar volume of $700,082,392 in home sales, topping the previous high, also set in May, by nearly $110 million. The total dollar volume for the Houston market had never reached $600 million prior to June. Additionally, the new high is a 42.8 percent increase over last June.

The available inventory of homes for sale has remained steady over the past few record-setting months. Active listings for June dipped slightly to 24,720. This represents a decrease of only 1.2 percent since January. However, single-family homes spent an average of only 81.2 days on the market in June.

Nearly all MLS areas around Houston enjoyed growth compared to the same time last year. Single-family home sales statistics show that 70 percent of all MLS areas in the seven-county region experienced a growth of more than 20 percent over last June. Southwest Montgomery County, including the Woodlands, led all areas in June single-family home sales with 313.
 
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.