Home>Features>Houston Area Home Sales Ease Slightly in September

Houston Area Home Sales Ease Slightly in September

Unlike the temperature, single-family home sales throughout greater Houston cooled a bit in September, with a fractional 0.5 percent year-over-year decline. Homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 saw positive sales volume while the market’s high and low ends experienced declines. Both median and average price reached record highs for a September.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS®(HAR), a total of 6,652 homes sold in September compared to 6,685 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, however, home sales are up 1.3 percent compared to this point in 2015. Inventory levels rose from a 3.5-months supply to 3.9 months.

“With home sales ahead of where they were at this time last year – a record sales year – in a market that continues to suffer energy-related job losses, I believe we’re doing well,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “Inventory is still moving in the right direction, and consumers that were not buying homes in September accounted for strong rental activity throughout the month.”

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The single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 4.8 percent to $219,990. That is the highest median price ever for a September. The average price increased 2.4 percent to $277,849, which is also a September high.

September sales of all property types in Houston totaled 7,893, down 1.6 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in September was unchanged at $2.1 billion.

September Monthly Market Comparison
Houston’s monthly housing market indicators generated largely positive readings compared to September 2015. On a year-over-year basis, single-family homes sales and total property sales declined slightly, total dollar volume was flat, and both the median and average home prices climbed to record September highs.

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Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,501, an increase of 10.5 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, at the end of September rose 11.6 percent from September 2015 to 37,955.

Single-family homes inventory edged up from a 3.5-months supply to 3.9 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.6-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales totaled 6,652, down 0.5 percent from September 2015. The median price rose 4.8 percent to a September high of $219,990. The average price climbed 2.4 percent to $277,849, also a record high for a September. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up to 52 days versus 50 last year.

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

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 19.4 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 20.1 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 7.2 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 4.8 percent
  • $500,000 and above: decreased 1.1 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,625 in September, down a fractional 0.4 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.2 percent to $262,868 while the median sales price increased 7.3 percent to $205,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update
Townhome and condominium sales declined 3.1 percent with 570 units selling in September versus 588 a year earlier. The average price fell 3.7 percent to $199,240 while the median price tumbled 4.8 percent to $147,600. Inventory grew from a 3.1-months supply to 3.7 months.

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Lease Property Update
The lease market yielded a strong performance in September. Single-family home leases rose 5.4, while townhome/condominium leases jumped 10.8 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was down 1.8 percent at $1,764 while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums declined 1.0 percent to $1,524.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in September

  • Single-family home sales declined 0.5 percent with a total of 6,652 units sold;
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales were up 1.3 percent;
  • Total property sales were down 1.6 percent to 7,893 units;
  • Total dollar volume was unchanged at $2.1 billion;
  • At $219,990, the single-family home median price rose 4.8 percent to a September high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 2.4 percent to $277,849, which was also the highest level for a September;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.9-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 3.1 percent, with the average price down 3.7 percent to $199,240 and the median price down 4.8 percent to $147,600;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 5.4 percent with average rent down slightly to $1,764;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums shot up 10.8 percent with average rent down 1.0 percent to $1,524.

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