Prices hit July highs and inventory continues to expand

The mercury wasn’t the only thing on the rise in Houston in July. For a second straight month, home sales and prices surpassed last year’s record-breaking pace, while housing inventory levels showed further improvement. Homes priced below $150,000 experienced a sales decline, while those above $500,000 showed particularly strong sales volume.

July single-family home sales totaled 8,147 units—the highest one-month volume ever— compared to 7,637 a year earlier, according to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). The time it took to sell the average home matched last year’s 45 days.

Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, increased to a 3.4-months supply versus 3.0 months last July. That is the greatest supply of homes since July 2013, but remains below the current national supply of 5.0 months of inventory.


Home prices achieved July highs, with the average price of a single-family home up 6.3 percent year-over-year to $293,790. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 8.6 percent to $220,000.

July sales of all property types amounted to a record-setting 9,653 units, an increase of 6.0 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume rose 9.5 percent to $2.7 billion.

“The Houston housing market has been blessed with another solid month of gains,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. “Despite lingering concerns about falling oil prices and layoffs within the energy industry, I believe the strength of Houston’s housing market continues to be buoyed by our tremendously diverse local economy.”

July Monthly Market Comparison
The Houston housing market benefited from across-the-board gains in the July 2015 versus July 2014 analysis, with single-family home sales, total property sales, and total dollar volume all up, and prices reaching record highs for a July.


Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 7,959, a 4.1 percent increase compared to a year earlier. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of July rose 12.7 percent to 33,679.


Houston’s housing inventory saw a notable expansion in July, reaching a 3.4-months supply versus the 3.0-months supply of one year earlier. That matches the inventory level recorded in July 2013, but remains below the current national supply of homes which stands at a 5.0-months supply, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales totaled 8,147 in July, an increase of 6.7 percent from July 2014. Home prices reached the highest levels ever for a July in Houston. The single-family average price rose 6.3 percent from last year to $293,790 and the median price jumped 8.6 percent year-over-year to $220,000. The average number of days it took to sell a home, or Days on Market (DOM), was 45 in July, matching the DOM of a year earlier.
Single-family home sales tracked on a year-to-date basis were flat in July at 43,559.

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

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 30.1 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 17.9 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 11.9 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 12.6 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 18.3 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,133 in July. That is a 6.6 percent increase over the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.2 percent year-over-year to $276,094 while the median sales price jumped 7.9 percent to $205,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update
Sales of townhouses and condominiums increased 7.3 percent in July. A total of 720 units sold compared to 671 properties in July 2014. The average price, however, fell 3.8 percent to $202,991 and the median price declined 3.5 percent to $152,500. Inventory grew slightly from a 2.7-months supply to 2.9 months.


Lease Property Update
Demand for single-family lease homes rocketed 11.8 percent in July. The average rent for such properties climbed 3.0 percent to $1,864. Townhouse/condominiums leases were up 8.0 percent in July with their average rent up 4.6 percent to $1,625.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in July

  • Single-family home sales rose 6.7 percent versus July 2014;
  • Total property sales were up 6.0 percent year-over-year to a record 9,653 units;
  • Total dollar volume increased 11.9 percent to $2.7 billion;
  • At $293,790, the single-family home average price reached a record high for a July;
  • At $220,000, the single-family home median price also achieved a record July high;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.4-months supply, matching a level not seen since July 2013;.
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 7.3 percent;
  • Single family home leases were up 11.8 percent while townhome/condominium leases rose 8.0 percent with average rents up year-over-year.