Average and median single-family home sales prices are on the rise
HOUSTON — (December 18, 2007) — While much of the nation wrestles with the persistent effects of the real estate market downturn, Houston continues to hold its own when it comes to home sales and prices as the end of 2007 nears. The latest monthly housing figures compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) reflect comparative stability, with area sales and pricing performance still outpacing that recorded in 2005.
Total property sales for November registered 5,772, representing a modest 10.2 percent decline compared to November 2006. Properties sold during the month totaled $1.1 billion, a 4.7 percent decrease compared to last year’s $1.2 billion in November sales. Additionally, the average single-family home price for November rose 6.4 percent from last November to $205,815, while the median home price for a single-family home increased 1.7 percent to $150,000.
“The drop in property sales, while disappointing, is not unusual at this time of year and is far from the loud thud being heard in markets outside Texas,” said Rob Cook, HAR Chairman and broker/owner of Robert D. Cook Properties. “We’re encouraged by the ongoing increase in average and median home prices, which demonstrates that Houston’s real estate market has staying power through the subprime debacle and continues to offer a sound investment opportunity as we head into 2008.”
November Monthly Market Comparison
All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in November saw continued mixed results. While there were increases in both average and median sales prices on a year-over-year basis, both total property sales and total dollar volume declined. Total year-to-date property sales were down 3.9 percent.
The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of November was 52,217 properties, which was an increase of 13.3 percent versus last November and the 17th month with a year-over-year increase, after 10 consecutive previous declines. The figure was a decrease of 1,190 properties from last month, reflecting a continued slowdown in the pace of new listings. This is 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 4,159, which was down 5.7 percent from last year and signals another likely decline in sales next month after recent volatility in sales figures. The month’s inventory of single-family homes for November came in at 6.1 months, a slight decline from October’s 6.2-month figure and the lowest level Houston recorded since May. This compares to the November 2006 single-family homes inventory of 5.3 months.
Single family Homes Update
The overall median price of single-family homes in November was $150,000, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to November 2006. The figure represents the eighth increase of the year and follows two consecutive flat months. The average sales price for single-family homes was $205,815 during November, up 6.4 percent versus the same period last year and the eleventh consecutive increase of 2007. It was the highest figure since August.
Houston’s current median price of $150,000 is 27.1 percent less than the national median price, which reached $205,700 in October, according to statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS®. These data continue to demonstrate the higher value and lower cost of living afforded to Houstonians.
Additionally, total sales of single-family homes in Houston in November came in at 4,863, which was 9.0 percent lower than November 2006 and the second biggest decline of 2007, though significantly less than the 16.4 percent drop observed between September 2006 and September 2007. Year-to-date sales of single-family homes remain negative this month, down 3.0 percent versus the first 11 months of 2006. The National Association of REALTORS® currently forecasts a 12.5 percent year-over-year decline in national home sales, however the Houston market is expected to fare much better.
HAR also reports existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. In November 2007, existing single-family home sales totaled 3,965, which was a 9.4 percent decrease from November 2006. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $139,900, up 2.0 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price of $191,173 for the month represented an increase of 5.7 percent from last year’s level.
The Days on Market statistic for November held steady at 81, which was higher than the 76 days in November 2006, but remains historically low and indicates that the homes that are selling are doing so fairly quickly.
At $131,290, the median price in the townhouse/condominium segment in Houston rose 8.1 percent from November 2006 to 2007 and remained relatively flat compared to October 2007. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condominium sold in the greater Houston area was $162,371 last month, which was a 3.6 percent year-over-year increase.
Additionally, there was a slight downturn in the number of townhouses and condominiums that sold in November. In the greater Houston area, 489 units were sold last month versus 548 properties in November 2006, translating to a 10.8 percent decrease in year-over-year sales.
Houston Real Estate Milestones in November