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®
August 1998 Sales
Houston Real Estate Sets New Records In August
Despite Wall Street Turmoil
 
HOUSTON (September 17, 1998) — The volatility on Wall Street had little if any effect on Houston’s booming real estate market last month as home buyers posted 5,045 home sales, the most ever for the month of August and the third consecutive month of 5,000-plus sales.

According to statistics reported today by the Houston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS), the record number of August home sales is a 22.9 percent increase over last August and propels the total number of 1998 home sales to 33,965. This compares to 26,891 properties sold through the same time last year, a 26.3 percent increase.

"Houstonians are finding that residential real estate is a good long-term investment both emotionally and financially," said George Stephens, 1998 Chairman of the Board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "The growth and diversity of the Houston economy continue to fuel demand from home buyers looking to build equity in a tangible investment."

Home sellers have directly benefited from this summer’s strong market as most have realized greater returns on their homes. The median price, indicating that half the homes sold for more, half for less, for single-family homes sold in the Houston area last month reached $101,700 — surpassing the $100,000 barrier for only the third time ever. The value was 8.2 percent higher than last August’s $94,900 and sets a new record for the month. Prior to June of this year, the median price had never exceeded $100,000.

In the month of August, Realtors recorded a total dollar volume of $636,604,270 in home sales, topping the previous August high set last year by nearly $130 million, representing a 26.1 percent increase.

The available inventory of homes for sale has remained steady over the past few record-setting months. Active listings for August dipped slightly to 24,312. This represents only a slight decrease from July’s inventory of 24,698 homes. However, single-family homes continued to move at a rapid pace, spending an average of only 77 days on the market in August, a significant reduction from last year’s 92.1 days.

Home buyers opened 3,821 contracts in August, almost identical to 3,899 contracts opened during the same time last year. The number of contracts pending is one indicator of how the Houston market will fare over the next 30 to 60 days.

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 double-digit growth over last August.

Southwest Montgomery County, including the Woodlands, led all areas in June single-family home sales with 290. The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, trailed only slightly with 277.
 
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.