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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®
August 1997 Sales
Houston Real Estate Market Continues To Sizzle
Resale Home Sales Top 4,000 Mark Third Straight Month
 
HOUSTON . . . Following an unprecedented July that shattered multiple sales records, the sale of residential properties in Houston continued to sizzle in August. The Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reported 4,104 residential properties sold in August, bringing the total number of homes sold in 1997 to 26,891, a 4.4 percent increase in homes sold year-to-date over a record-setting 1996. The 4,104 homes sold breaks the old record for August set in 1988, and makes the third-straight month in which sales have exceeded 4,000. The total dollar volume for the month remained above a half billion dollars at $504,774,312, a 20.1 percent increase over August 1996.

By the numbers, Houston clearly is now in a seller s market, however, buyers should remember that Houston is still one of the nation s most affordable large cities, said Robin Mueck, 1997 chairman of the board for the Houston Association of Realtors. Homes are moving very quickly right now, so this is an excellent opportunity for buyers and sellers to take advantage of the brisk market.

The median price of single-family homes sold in August was $94,000, an 8.7 percent increase over last August, but a 1.1 percent decrease from July 1997. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less. The median price for a townhouse/condominium was $52,500, a 3.2 percent decrease compared to last August. The median price for a high rise home in Houston was $166,250 in August, a 26.9 percent increase from $131,000 for the same time last year.

Buyers opened 3,899 contracts in August, a 19.9 percent increase over last year. Contracts opened, also referred to as pended, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead.

The MLS also reported 29,236 active listings, the lowest number of listings in August since 1982 and approximately 9.1 percent fewer than last year, representing a 6.7 month inventory at the current rate of absorption. Single-family homes spent an average of 92.1 days on the market in August, sustaining the rapid rate of consumption seen in the past few months.

Several MLS areas were particularly hot during August. Listed single-family homes in the Bellaire West area spent an average of 62.3 days on the market, while Central Fort Bend County moved 30.6 percent of its available single-family listings in August. Other hot areas of Houston include the Southeast area, located between Highway 288 and Hobby Airport, which sold 22.1 percent of its available inventory in August at an average rate of 75.1 days on the market, and the Pasadena area, which sold 24 percent of that area s available inventory in August at an average rate of 77.1 days on the market.

Areas that experienced significant growth in home sales over last August include Central Fort Bend County (45.3 percent), Hempstead East (37.5 percent), Southwest Fort Bend County (21.6 percent), Clear Lake (19.9 percent), Southwest Montgomery County (19.9 percent), Southwest Houston, including East Bellaire and West University Place, (19.8 percent) and South Katy (16.3 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 monthly single-family home sales with 210. Pended sales for the Northwest Area are up 29.7 percent over last August, a good indicator that sales will remain strong in this area into the fourth quarter.
 
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.