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Luxury Market Leads the Way During Another Positive Month for Houston Home Sales

Houston home sales rose for the tenth consecutive month in July, however prices, which have seen steady gains over the past year, began showing signs of moderation. The luxury market, defined as homes priced from $750,000 and up, recorded the strongest sales volume, followed by homes in the $150,000 to $249,999 range. July marked the ninth straight month of rising sales in the luxury segment, which a year ago was still trying to recover from the effects of the ailing energy industry.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), a total of 7,440 single-family homes sold in July versus 7,083 a year earlier. That constitutes a 5.0 percent increase. On a year-to-date basis, home sales remain 6.8 percent ahead of 2016’s volume. Housing inventory grew from a 4.0-months supply to 4.5 months, the highest level in five years.

“Overall, the Houston housing market had a strong July, although we are seeing slower sales in some outlying areas like The Woodlands and Cypress,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann. “That is why we always emphasize that real estate is local. The combination of moderating pricing and growing inventory should make conditions even more appealing for prospective home buyers.”

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) was statistically flat at $230,000. The average price rose 2.4 percent to $299,131. That follows two months of being above $300,000.

July sales of all property types in Houston totaled 8,821, up 4.5 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in July increased 7.5 percent to $2.5 billion.

July Monthly Market Comparison
The Houston real estate market enjoyed gains in most measurements during the month of July, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume, average price and inventory all up compared to July 2016, while median price was statistically unchanged.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 7,940, up 9.8 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 16.7 percent from July 2016 to 44,299.
Single-family homes inventory grew from a 4.0-months supply to 4.5 months, the highest level since 2012. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.3-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales totaled 7,440, up 5.0 percent from July 2016, when sales volume was 7,083. The luxury home segment experienced the greatest sales volume.

The median price was statistically flat at $230,000. That figure has increased each month since May 2016, when it also was flat. The average price increased 2.4 percent to $299,131.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, fell slightly to 48 days versus 50 last year. Inventory rose from a 4.0-months supply to 4.5 months, its highest level since September 2012.
Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 11.9 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 1.8 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 7.8 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 3.2 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: statistically unchanged
  • $750,000 and above: increased 19.8 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 6,385 in July, up 7.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 4.7 percent to $287,762 while the median sales price rose 1.4 percent to $220,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update
Townhome and condominium sales declined 9.0 percent in July with a total of 576 units sold. The average price edged up 1.8 percent to $201,148 while the median price fell 6.2 percent to $150,000. Inventory expanded from a 3.5-months supply to 4.7 months.

Lease Property Update
Consumer demand for lease properties across Houston remained strong in July. Single-family home leases jumped 15.6 percent while townhome/condominium leases rose 12.3 percent. The average rent for single-family homes declined 3.2 percent to $1,815 while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums slid 5.1 percent to $1,546.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in July

  • Single-family home sales rose for the tenth straight month, up 5.0 percent year-over-year with 7,440 units sold
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales remain 6.8 percent ahead of the 2016 volume;Total property sales increased 4.5 percent with 8,821 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume climbed 7.5 percent to $2.5 billion;
  • The single-family home median price remained statistically unchanged at $230,000;
  • The single-family home average price increased 2.4 percent to $299,131;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew to a 4.5-months supply, the highest level since September 2012;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 9.0 percent, with the average price up 1.8 percent to $201,148 and the median price down 6.2 percent to $150,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes jumped 15.6 percent with average rent down 3.2 percent to $1,815;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases rose12.3 percent with average rent down 5.1 percent to $1,546.

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