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Houston Real Estate Has a Spring in its Step in April

Home sales and rentals rebound and prices reach record highs

After a sluggish March, the Houston real estate market rebounded in April with a nearly seven percent jump in home sales and the highest average and median prices of all time. Consumers also kept the lease market humming with gains in the rental of single-family homes and townhomes/condominiums.

According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), 7,070 single-family homes sold in April versus 6,611 a year earlier. For the third straight month, the best-performing segment of the market consisted of homes priced in the $500,000 to $749,999 range, which shot up nearly 30 percent. The luxury market – those homes priced at $750,000 and above – rose almost five percent after being flat for two consecutive months.

Home prices reached the highest levels of all time. The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) increased 5.3 percent to $240,000 and the average price climbed 5.2 percent to $305,092.

“April proved to be a strong month for the Houston housing market on both the purchase and rental sides, and mind you that is compared to a record year in 2017,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “As long as inventory levels can keep up with the increased buyer demand, we would expect sales volume to remain strong in the months ahead.”

April sales of all property types in Houston totaled 8,453, an increase of 3.2 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume rose 10.5 percent to $2.4 billion.

Lease Property Update

Property leases had a healthy performance in April. Single-family home rentals increased 2.0 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums jumped 8.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes rose 3.6 percent to $1,778 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums edged up 1.1 percent to $1,576.

April Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston real estate market achieved gains in all but two categories during the month of April, with single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all up compared to April 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,766, up 15.5 percent from last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 3.8 percent to 36,882.

Single-family homes inventory reached a 3.6-months supply in April versus 3.8 months a year earlier, but is at its highest level since last November. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. also stands at a 3.6-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales rose 6.9 percent in April, with 7,070 units sold throughout greater Houston compared to 6,611 a year earlier. That is the greatest one-month sales volume since July 2017. Sales volume within the luxury market – defined as homes priced from $750,000 and up – saw gains after remaining flat for two consecutive months. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 3.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record pace.

Prices reaches historic highs in April. The median price increased 5.3 percent to $240,000. The average price jumped 5.2 percent to $305,092.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up from 55 to 56 days. Inventory narrowed from a 3.8-months supply to a 3.6-months supply year-over-year, but is at its highest level since November 2017 and is the same as the national inventory level.

Broken out by housing segment, April sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 6.8 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 21.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 7.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 16.8 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 28.7 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 4.7 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,813 in April, up 6.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 9.0 percent to $297,745 while the median sales price rose 8.0 percent to $229,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Sales of townhomes and condominiums edged up 0.5 percent in April, with a total of 598 units sold versus 595 a year earlier. The average price rose 5.9 percent to $220,704 while the median price increased 2.8 percent to $176,730. Inventory held steady at a 4.0-months supply.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in April

  • Single-family home sales jumped 6.9 percent year-over-year, with 7,070 units sold;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes increased slightly from 55 to 56 days;
  • Total property sales rose 5.1 percent with 8,453 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume increased 10.5 percent to $2.4 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 5.3 percent to $240,000, which represents an all-time high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 5.2 percent to a record high of $305,092;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory shrank year-over-year from a 3.8-months supply to 3.6 months, the highest level since last November and the same as the national inventory level;
  • Townhome/condominium sales increased 0.5 percent, with the average price up 5.9 percent to $220,704 and the median price up 2.8 percent to $176,730;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 2.0 percent with the average rent up 3.6 percent to $1,778;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases jumped 8.6 percent with average rent up 1.1 percent to $1,576.

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