Average and median single-family home prices continue to rise despite a fourth consecutive decline in sales in December
HOUSTON — (January 16, 2008) — The year 2007 shaped up to be one of the best on record for property sales in Houston, second only to 2006, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). That milestone was achieved despite a fourth consecutive decline in sales in December that reflects the effects of the real estate slowdown that has taken a particularly heavy toll on markets outside Texas.
Total property sales for December registered 5,957, representing a 23.5 percent decline compared to December 2006. However, total dollar volume for 2007 reached its highest level ever with year-end sales of 83,432 properties totaling $16.6 billion. The average single-family home price for December rose 5.7 percent from last December to $216,433, while the median home price for a single-family home increased 2.4 percent to $153,630. The full-year median sales price was $152,000, or an increase of 1.6 percent compared to 2006. The full-year average sales price was $206,393, or an increase of 3.9 percent compared to last year.
“Having the second best year on record for property sales and a record dollar volume level is no small achievement, especially in light of what other markets are experiencing,” said Michael Levitin, HAR Chairman and principal of HTownRealty.com. “Although the nation faces tough economic times as a result of the subprime mortgage meltdown, Houston has the distinct advantage of a vibrant job market and healthy energy industry base. That, coupled with the continued increase in home pricing, gives us reason to enter 2008 with a sense of cautious optimism about the local marketplace.”
December Monthly Market Comparison
All listing categories combined, Houstons overall housing market in December saw continued mixed results. Despite declines in total property sales and total dollar volume, there were increases in both average and median sales prices on a year-over-year basis. Total year-to-date property sales were down 5.0 percent.
The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of December was 49,566 properties, which was an increase of 14.1 percent versus last December. The figure was a decrease of 1,741 properties from November 2007, reflecting a continued slowdown in the pace of new listings. The industry considers this a positive indicator for the market, as lower inventories generally support pricing levels.
Month-end pending sales those listings expected to close within the next 30 days reached 3,773, which was down 13.6 percent from last year and signals another likely decline in sales next month after recent volatility in sales figures. The months inventory of single-family homes for December came in at 5.9 months, a decline from Novembers 6.1-month figure and the lowest level Houston recorded since April. This compares to the December 2006 single-family homes inventory of 5.0 months.
Houston Real Estate Milestones in December