As you read here earlier this week, Houston eked out another month of increased single family (SF) home sales when compared to the same month last year. The Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) released statistics indicating 3,957 SF homes were sold in January, 1.7% more than January 2013. This marked the first month in which fewer than 5,000 homes were sold since February 2013. Inventory remained almost constant. There were 16,166 homes actively on the market January 1, which is 16 more than December 1, 2013. Measured in months, inventory remained at 2.65 months. It is generally agreed that a neutral market favoring neither the Buyer nor the Seller is 6 months of inventory. To achieve 6 months inventory in Houston would require an additional 20,500 homes to be actively on the market.
I believe the exceptional cold weather coupled with the continued low inventory contributed to the very small increase in SF home sales in January. We may also be trending toward a more sustainable increase in home sales. It is not possible for Houston to maintain the 17.4% increase in sales achieved in 2013.
My cursory review of SF home sales so far in February indicates that Houston’s consecutive string of monthly increased SF home sales may end at 32. Watch this blog for more analysis as data becomes available.
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