Home>Features>Houston Home Rentals Soar in February While Sales Recover

Houston Home Rentals Soar in February While Sales Recover

Sales of single-family homes in the $500K-$750K range perform best

HOUSTON — (March 13, 2019) — After a generally mixed performance in January, the Houston housing market showed considerably more vitality in February, particularly among rental properties. Unlike January, which brought declining sales across all pricing segments, sales last month rose among homes priced between $150,000 and $750,000, with the high end of that range performing best. Inventory continued to grow, generating an improved supply of homes for consumers as the spring buying season gets underway.

According to the newest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), sales of single-family homes were statistically flat in February, with 5,280 homes sold compared to 5,265 a year earlier, marking the end of three straight months of declines.

Single-family home prices achieved record highs for a February. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.9 percent to $232,900 and the average price increased 1.9 percent to $286,156.

Sales of all property types totaled 6,388, also statistically flat when compared to last February’s tally of 6,368 Total dollar volume for the month rose 3.1 percent to $1.76 billion.

“The Houston real estate market seems to be emerging from the winter doldrums with improvement in sales volume and an exceptionally strong performance among rental properties in February,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “This suggests that many consumers are opting to rent until they find the right home at the right price at the right interest rate to buy.”

Lease Property Update
Consumers kept the rental market buzzing in February. Single-family home rentals soared 26.5 percent while rentals of townhomes and condominiums shot up 27.1 percent. The average rent for single-family homes edged up 0.8 percent to $1,733 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums rose 1.9 percent to $1,548.

February Monthly Market Comparison
February’s statistical readings for the Houston real estate market were in the black in all categories. Single-family home prices and total dollar volume rose while single-family home sales and total property sales were flat compared to February 2018. Month-end pending sales totaled 7,310, a 15.4 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 17.4 percent to 39,304.

Single-family homes inventory reached a 3.7-months supply in February, up from a 3.1-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 3.9-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales were statistically unchanged in February, with 5,280 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 5,265 a year earlier. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a February. The median price increased 2.9 percent to $232,900. The average price rose 1.9 percent to $286,156.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, lengthened slightly from 66 to 68 days. Inventory registered a 3.7-months supply. That is up from 3.1 months a year earlier and is slightly below the current national inventory level of 3.9 months reported by NAR.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 21.8 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 16.0 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 3.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 5.5 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 7.5 percent
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 8.9 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,265 in February, down 1.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 2.7 percent to $273,757 while the median sales price rose 1.8 percent to $217,500.

Townhouse/Condominium Update
Townhome and condominium sales tumbled for a sixth straight month, dropping 7.6 percent versus February 2018, with 425 units sold compared to 460 a year earlier. The average price fell 11.9 percent to $186,859 while the median price dropped 11.8 percent to $150,000. Inventory grew from a 3.5-months supply to 4.2 months.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in February

  • Single-family home sales were statistically flat year-over-year, with 5,280 units sold, ending three consecutive months of declining sales;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes increased slightly from 66 to 68 days;
  • Total property sales were also statistically flat, with 6,388 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume rose 3.1 percent to $1.76 billion;
  • The single-family home median price climbed 2.9 percent to $232,900, reaching a February high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 1.9 percent to a February high of $286,156;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.7-months supply, up from 3.1 months last February, but slightly below the national inventory level of 3.9 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell for a sixth straight month – down 7.6 percent, with the average price down 11.9 percent to $186,859 and the median price down 11.8 percent to $150,000;
  • Lease properties staged a strong performance, as single-family home rentals leapt 26.5 percent with the average rent up 0.8 percent to $1,733;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases surged 27.1 percent with the average rent up 1.9 percent to $1,548.

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