Houston housing market hits another high note
September 17, 2013

It was another seller’s market for Houston real estate last month, as home sales across the area jumped 16.2 percent and the amount of inventory declined, a new report shows.

Buyers in August closed on 7,504 single-family homes, the Houston Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. Homes selling from $250,000 through the millions registered the greatest increase in sales volume, pushing the median price of a Houston-area home to $186,200.

Danny Frank, the association’s chairman, said he’s never seen such a strong summer.

“It’s difficult to say exactly when Houston’s boiling real estate market will begin to cool down,” Frank said in a statement.

The number of sales that were pending at the end of August was up over last year, but the increase was smaller that in previous months. While that ordinarily would suggest a tapering in sales activity in the subsequent month, the association said that’s probably not the case.

“It is most likely symptomatic of homes selling so quickly that they never attain ‘pending’ status,” the report said.

Houston’s inventory of available homes dipped to 3.3 months in August, meaning it would take that long to sell all the homes on the market based on recent activity. The number of available properties, at the end of August declined 18.9 percent to 32,834.

The association breaks down sales by price segment:

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 38.6 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: increased 0.7 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 25.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 39.0 percent
  • $500,000 – $1 million and above: increased 51.2 percent

Other highlights from the report:

  • August sales of townhouses and condominiums were up 13.9 percent from one year earlier, and the median price jumped 14.6 percent to $150,000. Months inventory was 3.2 months versus 5.6 months in August 2012.
  • Rentals of single-family homes increased 10.3 percent compared to August 2012. Rents reached record highs with the average monthly lease of a single-family home reaching $1,748 and the average monthly lease for a townhouse/condominium reaching $1,507.

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