Houston Property Sales and Prices Maintain Third Straight Month in the Black in November
Year-over-year comparisons remain distorted due to Hurricane Ike, but longer-term view continues to show signs of recovery
HOUSTON — (December 15, 2009) — The effects of Hurricane Ike and simultaneous economic downturn affecting Houston’s real estate market in November 2008 continue to distort year-over-year comparisons which reflect yet another month of double-digit increases. However, longer-term analysis aimed at gleaning a more realistic view of market conditions shows November 2009 real estate activity to be comparable to that seen at the cusp of the recession, in the fall of 2007.
November marked the third straight month in which property sales volume and pricing recorded gains. According to the latest monthly data compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), November volume of single-family home sales across the greater Houston area rose 32.8 percent compared to November 2008. Total property sales climbed 37.1 percent in November on a year-over-year basis.
November’s month-end pending sales—those listings expected to close within the next 30 days—totaled 2,741, which was 12.8 percent lower than last year. While such a decrease typically portends a decline in sales volume for the following month, the Hurricane Ike effect and interest in the homebuyer tax credit make it tricky to forecast. The months inventory of single-family homes for November came in at 6.0 months, down from 6.1 months one year earlier, and remains healthier than the national months inventory of single-family homes of 7.0 months, reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.
Single-Family Homes Update
At $150,000, the median sales price for single-family homes rose for the seventh consecutive month, up 8.7 percent from November 2008. That represents the highest median price ever recorded in a month of November in Houston. The national single-family median price reported by NAR is $173,100, illustrating the continued higher value and lower cost of living that consumers enjoy in the Houston market. The average price of single-family homes in October was $198,948, an increase of 6.7 percent from one year earlier.
HAR also reports existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. In November 2009, existing single-family home sales totaled 3,721, a 34.8 percent increase from November 2008. At $142,000, the median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area rose 13.6 percent compared to last year. The average sales price of $182,883 climbed 12.3 percent from its November 2008 level.
The number of townhouses and condominiums sold in November rose dramatically compared to one year earlier—again, the product of the market interruption caused by Hurricane Ike. In the greater Houston area, 502 units were sold last month versus 286 properties in November 2008, translating to a 75.5 percent boost in year-over-year sales.
The median price of a townhouse/condominium rose 13.7 percent year-over-year to $134,500. The average price climbed 5.3 percent to $162,708 from November 2008 to November 2009.
Lease Property Update
Demand for single-family home rentals fell 9.0 percent in November compared to a year earlier. Year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals declined by 2.9 percent.
Houston Real Estate Milestones in November
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 24,000 Realtors® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com.