HOUSTON HOME SALES COOL IN THE MID-SUMMER HEAT
Property sales in July slow as expected, as the brisk and early buying spree
triggered by the homebuyer tax credit comes to an end
HOUSTON - (August 17, 2010) - An anticipated property sales slowdown set into the Houston real estate market in July following the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit. The credit had propelled local home sales for four straight months beginning in March, however home sales suffered a double-digit decline in July. Despite the drop, the average price of a single-family home still managed to climb to a two-year high.
According to the latest monthly data compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), July sales of single-family homes throughout the Houston market fell 25.1 percent compared to July 2009. Sales volume faltered in all single-family home pricing segments except among properties under $80,000, which were flat. Sales of all property types combined slid 24.4 percent in July on a year-over-year basis.
The average price of a single-family home rose 2.7 percent from July 2009 to $224,764, the highest price since June 2008. The July single-family home median pricethe figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for lessdipped 0.7 percent from one year earlier to $160,880, but still recorded its highest level since July 2009.
Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) tumbled 13.5 percent in July compared to one year earlier. The median price of July foreclosure sales declined 6.1 percent to $84,000 on a year-over-year basis.
Sales of all property types in Houston for July totaled 5,056, down 24.4 percent compared to July 2009. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month was $1.0 billion versus $1.4 billion one year earlier, representing a 23.9 percent drop.
"Homebuying came earlier and at a heftier pace than we would normally have seen in Houston during the spring and summer months because of the tax credit, but indicators showed that sales would decline once the credit expired, so this comes as no surprise," said Margie Dorrance, HAR chair and principal at Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan. "It is encouraging that pricing has remained strong and that on a year-to-date basis home sales are actually slightly ahead of 2009 levels."
July Monthly Market Comparison
The month of July brought Houston's overall housing market largely negative results when all listing categories are compared to July of 2009. Total property sales and total dollar volume fell on a year-over-year basis while the average single-family home sales price rose to a two-year high and the median price dipped.
The number of available properties, or active listings, at the end of July rose 18.6 percent from July 2009 to 55,247. That represents 1,313 more active listings than one month earlier, in June 2010, and reflects additional housing inventory that is remaining on the market as a result of reduced consumer interest following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.
Month-end pending sales for July totaled 3,267, down 16.4 percent from last year, suggesting that sales will be down again in August. The months inventory of single-family homes for June extended to 7.7 months compared to 6.5 months one year earlier, but remains healthier than the national months inventory of single-family homes of 8.9 months, reported by the National Association of REALTORSâ (NAR).
Single-Family Homes Update
July sales of single-family homes in Houston totaled 4,297, down 25.1 percent from July 2009. This concludes four consecutive months of accelerated sales activity. Broken out by segment, July sales of homes priced from $80,000 and below were flat; homes priced between $80,000 and $150,000 fell 29.2 percent; those in the $150,000 to $250,000 dropped 35.0 percent; homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 declined 19.8 percent; sales of luxury homesthose priced from $500,000 to the millionstumbled 22.7 percent. On a year-to-date basis, however, single-family home sales are up 2.7 percent over 2009 levels.
The average price of single-family homes in July was $224,764, up 2.7 percent compared to one year earlier. That is the highest pricing level since June 2008. At $160,880, the median sales price for single-family homes slid 0.7 percent versus July 2009. That is the highest price since July 2009. The national single-family median price reported by NAR is $184,200, illustrating the continued higher value and lower cost of living that consumers enjoy in the Houston market.
HAR also breaks out the sales performance of existing single-family homes throughout the Houston market. In July 2010, existing home sales totaled 3,626, a 24.6 percent decline from July 2009. The average sales price edged up 1.4 percent to $207,644 compared to last year while the median sales price of $150,000 declined 3.2 percent from its July 2009 level.
The number of townhouses and condominiums that sold in July fell 31.5 percent compared to one year earlier. In the greater Houston area, 370 units were sold last month versus 540 properties in July 2009.
The average price dropped 8.6 percent to $153,907 from July 2009 to July 2010. The median price of a townhouse/condominium retreated 10.5 percent year-over-year to $119,000.
Lease Property Update
Demand for single-family home rentals rose 15.0 percent in July compared to one year earlier. Year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals jumped 35.6 percent.
Houston Real Estate Milestones in July
At $224,764, the average price of a single-family home reached the highest level since June 2008;
At $160,880, the median price of a single-family home reached the highest level since July 2009;
7.7 months inventory of single-family homes compares favorably to the national average of 8.9 months.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 25,000 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 more than 50,000 properties may 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 25,000-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 and the second largest local association/board of Realtors® in the United States.