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MLS Press Release
Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 24,000 REALTORS®


Year/Month
July 1998 Sales
Real Estate is at the Top of the Shopping List for Many Houstonians
High Demand Prompts Houston Homes to Sell Quickly and for Top Dollar in July
 
HOUSTON (August 17, 1998) - Houston's home sellers are reaping the benefits of a growing economy and a hot real estate market this summer as Houstonians buy homes at a faster pace than ever before.

According to statistics reported today by the Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS), Houston's single-family homes are selling on average in a rapid 77.4 days. This is nearly a full month quicker than the average of 106.8 days at the beginning of 1998, and more than two weeks faster than the 92.1 average days last July.

"Houston is experiencing unbelievable activity in the real estate market right now because of the city's rapidly expanding economy and the new jobs it creates," said George Stephens, 1998 chairman of the board for the Houston Association of Realtors. "This growth is translating into quicker turnarounds and better returns for home sellers."

Last month's median price for single-family homes sold in the Houston area was $102,000 - a mark that is above the $100,000 plateau for only the second time ever. That value is 7.4 percent higher than last July's $95,000. The median price indicates that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Higher median prices have done little to discourage home shoppers. Home buyers purchased 5,218 homes in July, marking the second time ever that area home sales have crossed the 5,000 mark in one month; the first time was June 1998. This represents a 23.0 percent increase over the previous July high of 4,243, set last year. So far in 1998, there have been 28,920 homes sold in the Houston area compared to 22,787 in the same time last year, a 26.9 percent increase.

Nearly all the individual MLS areas around Houston enjoyed some 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 July. The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, led all areas in July single-family home sales with 287, while Southwest Montgomery County, including The Woodlands, trailed slightly with 279.

Despite the record home sales this summer, the available inventory of homes for sale has remained steady. Active listings for July dipped slightly from 24,720 to 24,698.

In the month of July, Realtors recorded a total dollar volume of $694,482,614 in home sales, topping the previous July high by nearly $172 million. This marks only the second-time ever that the monthly total dollar volume for the Houston market has reached above $600 million.

Home buyers opened 4,041 contracts in July - the largest number of contracts opened in any July. It was a 1.4 percent increase compared to 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.
 
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.