Home buyers push sales volumes to record highs
HOUSTON — (August 14, 2019) — Consumers kept Realtors across greater Houston busy in July, accounting for the greatest one-month volume of single-family home sales of all time. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), July single-family home sales totaled 8,953. That is up 11.6 percent year-over-year and exceeds the last one-month sales volume record set in June 2018 (8,385). On a year-to-date basis, sales are 3.0 percent ahead of 2018’s record volume. Realtors point to low mortgage interest rates and the steady growth in inventory for the solid monthly performance.
Homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 range staged the biggest sales gains, up 22.0 percent versus July 2018. Next were homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 range, which rose 16.9 percent. The luxury segment, which consists of homes priced at $750,000 and above, increased 5.3 percent.
The median price of a single-family home (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) reached the highest level ever for a July, climbing 2.2 percent to $250,000. The average price also set a July record, rising 2.2 percent to $312,727.
Housing inventory continues to outpace 2018 with a 4.3-months supply compared to a 4.1-months supply last July. However, inventory peaked in June 2019 at a 4.4-months supply. Housing inventory is now holding at levels that prevailed before Hurricane Harvey struck in August 2017 and is providing a broader array of options for home buyers.
Sales of all property types rose 10.9 percent in July, setting a new record with a total of 10,478 units. The previous high for total property sales in a single month was10,115 in June 2018, which marked the first time that figure ever broke 10,000. Total dollar volume for the month increased 12.8 percent to $3.1 billion.
“July was a strong month for home sales and rentals across the Houston area,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “We believe that the Houston real estate market is on track for another record year, and that is directly attributed to a healthy local economy, low mortgage interest rates and an improving supply of homes.”
Lease Property Update
Consumers that chose not to buy a home in July brought plenty of business to the lease market. Single-family home rentals shot up 16.3 percent while rentals of townhomes and condominiums jumped 13.0 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was flat at $1,903 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was also unchanged at $1,653.
July Monthly Market Comparison
The Houston housing market held to positive territory in all categories throughout the month of July. Single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing, total dollar volume and inventory all increased in comparison to July 2018. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 9,207, a 19.0 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 9.6 percent to 45,498.
Single-family homes inventory grew to a 4.3-months supply in July. That is up from 4.1 months a year earlier and is only slightly below the 2019 peak of 4.4-months supply reached in June. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.4-months supply, according to the latest National Association of Realtors® (NAR) report.
Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales jumped 11.6 percent in July, with 8,953 units sold across greater Houston compared to 8,019 a year earlier. That represents the greatest one-month sales volume of all time. On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are running 3.0 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace.
Home prices were the highest ever for a July. The median price came in at $250,000, up 2.2 percent from July 2018. The average price rose 2.2 percent to $312,727.
Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was 50 compared to 48 a year ago. Inventory expanded to a 4.3-months supply. That is up from 4.1 months year-over-year and is just slightly below the 2019 peak of 4.4-months supply reached in June. It is also slightly below the national inventory of 4.4 months reported by NAR.
Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:
HAR also analyzes sales activity for just existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,453 in July, up 10.5 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 3.0 percent to $306,243 while the median sales price increased 3.2 percent to $240,000.
The townhouse and condominium segment staged a strong turnaround in July, with 697 units sold. That is up 15.8 percent from a year earlier when 602 units sold, and reverses two consecutive months of declines. It also ties the record for most townhouses/condos sold, set in June 2018. The average price fell 5.9 percent to $202,853 while the median price declined 1.8 percent to $163,000. Inventory grew from a 4.2-months supply to 4.7 months.
Houston Real Estate Highlights in July