July marks the 14th consecutive month of positive home sales, with housing inventory
at a five-year low
HOUSTON — (August 21, 2012) — Local home buying remained hot in July as real estate consumers accounted for the 14th straight month of positive sales and the steepest one-month sales gain in nearly a year.
Single-family home sales soared 27.0 percent compared to July 2011, according to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). The robust sales activity is keeping local housing inventory at its lowest level in more than five years.
"July was another very healthy month for the Houston real estate market with strong sales across all housing segments, from lower-priced homes to luxury homes," said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. "Sales volume isn't achieving the record levels we experienced in 2006, before the recession, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a market performing as well as Houston, even as the national housing recovery continues. Houston's steady employment growth remains a key driver."
Both average and median prices were up in July. The single-family home average price increased 3.7 percent year-over-year to $231,484, the highest level for a July in Houston and the third highest price of all time. The median pricethe figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for lessrose 6.3 percent to $170,000, matching June's revised record high (originally reported as $171,000).
Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) were flat compared to July 2011. Foreclosures comprised 16.3 percent of all property sales, a share that has continued to slide since the 27.8 percent level high recorded in January. The median price of July foreclosures declined 4.5 percent to $80,199.
July sales of all property types in Houston totaled 7,363, a 24.6 percent increase compared to July 2011. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month rocketed 29.9 percent to $1.6 billion versus $1.3 billion a year earlier.
July brought Houston's overall housing market positive results when all sales categories are compared to July 2011. On a year-over-year basis, total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all rose.
Month-end pending sales for July totaled 4,079. That is up 11.5 percent from last year and indicates the likelihood of another month of positive sales when the August real estate transactions are totaled. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of July declined 16.3 percent from July 2011 to 41,860.
July sales of single-family homes in Houston totaled 6,324, up 27.0 percent from June 2011. That marks the 14th straight monthly increase and represents the largest one-month jump in single-family home sales since August 2011.
Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:
The average price of a single-family home rose 3.7 percent from last July to $231,484, the highest level for a July in Houston and the third highest price of all time. The highest and second highest average prices were recorded in June and May of this year, respectively. At $170,000, the median sales price for single-family homes increased 6.3 percent year-over-year, matching the record high achieved in June 2012, which has been revised from the $171,000 initially reported.
HAR also breaks out the sales performance of existing single-family homes throughout the Houston market. In July 2012, existing home sales totaled 5,478, a 28.8 percent increase from July 2011. The average sales price rose 4.1 percent year-over-year to $220,945, following June 2012's record high of $226,389. The median sales price increased 6.7 percent to $160,000, slightly below the record median price of $161,710 achieved in June of this year.
July sales of townhouses and condominiums rose 17.8 percent from one year earlier. A total of 536 units sold last month versus 455 properties in July 2011. The average price rose 6.3 percent to $165,747 while the median price increased 9.8 percent to $131,750. Months inventory fell 31.1 percent year-over-year to 6.0 months compared to 8.7 months in July 2011.
Houston's lease property market saw mixed activity in July. Rentals of single-family homes climbed 15.0 percent compared to July 2011 while year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals declined 2.8 percent. The average rent among single-family lease homes reached a new all-time high of $1,669 in July, up from $1,642 last month. The average rent among leased townhouses/condominiums declined to $1,388 from the record high of $1,410, also reached last month.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 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 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 dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.