HURRICANE HARVEY HAMMERS HOUSTON HOUSING

September 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

Historic storm slams the door on home sales during the last week of August

HOUSTON — (September 13, 2017) Hurricane-turned-Tropical Storm Harvey’s torrential rains and devastating floodwaters not only disrupted life and destroyed properties throughout the Houston area and Texas Gulf coast. It also dealt a heavy blow to a real estate market that, until now, was on track to set new records. However, the full effects of the historic storm may not be realized for weeks to come as the market rebuilds and recovers.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), single-family home sales plunged 25.4 percent, marking the first decline in almost a year. All segments of the housing market felt the strain. Nonetheless, on a year-to-date basis, home sales remain 1.8 percent ahead of the 2016 volume. Housing inventory grew from a 4.0-months supply to 4.4 months, but is expected to shrink as undamaged and repaired homes continue to be snapped up by those in need of housing.

“Hurricane Harvey dealt a severe blow to the Houston area and Texas Gulf coast and it will probably be several weeks until we can gauge the storm’s full impact on our housing market,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann. “Home sales were humming throughout the first three weeks of August, but the moment Harvey struck the region, everything came to a screeching halt.” Hamann added: “HAR continues to encourage anyone who has housing available for temporary occupancy (up to 12 weeks) to please post it on our Harvey Temporary Housing page as soon as possible at www.har.com/temporaryhousing to provide housing to those in need.”

Pricing seemed unaffected by Harvey. The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 3.0 percent to $231,700. The average price increased 2.6 percent to $296,418.

August sales of all property types in Houston totaled 7,077, a decline of 24.2 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in August dropped 22.2 percent to $2.0 billion.

August Monthly Market Comparison

Houston’s monthly housing market indicators yielded mixed readings in August thanks to Harvey, with single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume down sharply compared to August 2016, while median and average price and inventory all increased.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,295, down 4.7 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, increased 12.4 percent from August 2016 to 42,822.

Single-family homes inventory grew from a 4.0-months supply to 4.4 months, but is expected to decline as demand for undamaged and repaired homes outpaces supply. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.2-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES AUGUST 2016 AUGUST 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 9,335 7,077 -24.2%
Total dollar volume $2,562,458,783 $1,993,970,105 -22.2%
Total active listings 38,086 42,822 12.4%
Single-family home sales 7,927 5,917 -25.4%
Single-family average sales price $288,920 $296,418 2.6%
Single-family median sales price $225,000 $231,700 3.0%
Single-family months inventory* 4.0 4.4 0.4 mos.
Single-family pending sales 6,680 6,295 -4.7%

* 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
Single Family

Single-family home sales, which had been on track for a record-setting year with 10 consecutive months of gains before Harvey struck, totaled 5,917. That is down 25.4 percent from August 2016 when sales volume was 7,927. All housing segments experienced declines.

Pricing appeared largely unaffected as a result of Harvey. The median price increased 3.0 percent to $231,700. The average price rose 2.6 percent to $296,418.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was unchanged at 50. Inventory rose from a 4.0-months supply to 4.4 months, but is expected to shrink as Harvey flooding victims snap up available housing inventory.

Broken out by housing segment, August delivered across-the-board sales declines as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 40.0 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 40.0 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: decreased 21.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: decreased 20.6 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: decreased 31.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 17.2 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,129 in August, down 23.8 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 4.2 percent to $283,066 while the median sales price rose 4.8 percent to $220,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Hurricane Harvey took a toll on the townhome and condominium market as well, as sales fell 31.4 percent in August with a total of 443 units sold. The average price declined 1.1 percent to $196,230 while the median price edged up 2.0 percent to $159,000. Inventory expanded from a 3.7-months supply to 4.6 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

Consumer demand for lease properties across Houston remained strong in August. Single-family home leases jumped 9.4 percent while townhome/condominium leases shot up 17.0 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was unchanged at $1,857 while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums declined 2.2 percent to $1,551.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in August
  • Hurricane Harvey ended ten consecutive months of positive single-family home sales, as volume plunged 25.4 percent year-over-year with 5,917 units sold;
  • Despite Harvey’s rampage, single-family home sales remain 1.8 percent ahead of the 2016 volume on a year-to-date basis;
  • Total property sales dropped 24.2 percent with 7,077 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume fell 22.2 percent to $2.0 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 3.0 percent to $231,700;
  • The single-family home average price increased 2.6 percent to $296,418;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew to a 4.4-months supply, but is expected to shrink with strong consumer demand for housing in the wake of Harvey;
  • Townhome/condominium sales dropped 31.4 percent, with the average price down 1.1 percent to $196,230 and the median price up 2.0 percent to $159,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 9.4 percent with average rent unchanged at $1,857;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases jumped 17.0 percent with average rent down 2.2 percent to $1,551;
  • HAR continues to encourage anyone who has housing available for temporary occupancy (up to 12 weeks) to please post it on our Harvey Temporary Housing page as soon as possible at www.har.com/temporaryhousing to provide housing to those in need.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 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. The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 36,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

Get Ready for a Home Showing

August 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Remove clutter. Clear off counters and pack unnecessary decorative items. Put extra furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season items. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.

Let it shine. Cleaning windows and screens will help bring more light into your home. Replace burnt bulbs, and consider higher wattage in low-light areas. Clean the walls or brush on a fresh coat of bright, neutral paint. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones and show off your view.

Keep it clean. A deep clean before listing your home will make upkeep easier. Consider hiring a cleaning service to help.

Maximize comfort. In summer, shut A/C vents on the first floor so more air will get upstairs. Reverse the process in winter.

Perform a sniff test. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate odors. Open the windows to air out the house. Consider potpourri or scented candles and diffusers. For quick fixes in the kitchen, cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract or orange juice can instantly make the fridge a nicer-smelling place. Boil lemon juice in your microwave, then add it to your dishwasher to eliminate odors. You can also run lemon rinds through the garbage disposal for a similar effect.

Take care of minor repairs. Sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.

Tidy up outdoors. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds great curb appeal.

Set the scene. A bright afghan or new accent pillows easily jazz up a dull room. Pretty dishes or a simple centerpiece on the tables can help buyers picture themselves living there. Try staging a chess game in progress. If you have a fireplace, lay fresh logs or a basket of flowers there.

Make the bath luxurious. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight, along with old towels and toothbrushes. Add a new shower curtain and fancy guest soaps.

Send the pets to the neighbors. If that’s not possible, crate or confine them to one room, and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.

Lock up valuables and medication. Agents can’t watch everyone all the time.

Head out. It can be awkward for everyone if you’re home at the time of a showing.

HOUSTON HOME PRICES AND SALES VOLUME SET RECORDS IN JUNE

July 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 
Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 REALTORS®
MLS Report for June 2017

Housing inventory reaches highest level in nearly five years

HOUSTON — (July 12, 2017) Temperatures weren’t the only thing soaring in June, as home prices and sales volume reached new heights, keeping 2017 on track to be a record year for Houston real estate. The greatest sales gains took place among homes priced from $750,000 and above (categorized as the luxury market), followed by homes in the $150,000 to $249,999 range. June was the eighth straight month that the luxury segment enjoyed rising sales.

A total of 8,414 single-family homes sold in June compared to 7,771 a year earlier, according to the latest monthly report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). That represents an 8.3 percent increase and marks the largest one-month sales volume in history. On a year-to-date basis, home sales remain ahead of 2016’s volume by 7.4 percent. New listings pushed inventory levels from a 3.9-months supply to 4.4 months, the highest in almost five years.

“June proved to be another phenomenal month for the Houston real estate market with buyers and renters sending volume and pricing into record territory,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann. “Between continued strong employment numbers and healthy housing inventory levels, we expect the market to remain vibrant.”

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) climbed 2.6 percent to $239,023. The average price edged up 1.5 percent to $304,155. Both figures are all-time highs.

June sales of all property types in Houston totaled 9,993, up 8.3 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in June rose 10.4 percent to $2.9 billion.

June Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston real estate market saw across-the-board gains during the month of June, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume, inventory and pricing all up compared to June 2016.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,363, up 18.9 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 16.4 percent from June 2016 to 43,326.

Single-family homes inventory grew from a 3.9-months supply to 4.4 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.2-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES JUNE 2016 JUNE 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 9,225 9.993 8.3%
Total dollar volume $2,615,214,802 $2,887,390,370 10.4%
Total active listings 37,230 43,326 16.4%
Single-family home sales 7,771 8,414 8.3%
Single-family average sales price $299,761 $304,155 1.5%
Single-family median sales price $233,000 $239,023 2.6%
Single-family months inventory* 3.9 4.4 0.5 mos.
Single-family pending sales 7,034 8,363 18.9%

* 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
Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 8,414, the greatest one-month volume of all time. That is up 8.3 percent from June 2016, when sales volume was 7,771. The median price rose 2.6 percent to an all-time record high of $239,023. The average price increased 1.5 percent to $304,155, also an historic high.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, fell slightly to 50 days versus 53 last year. Inventory rose from a 3.9-months supply to 4.4 months, matching a level last seen in October 2012.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 12.1 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 10.7 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 12.2 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 11.5 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 6.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 13.0 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,215 in June, up 9.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 3.4 percent to $294,251 while the median sales price rose 3.2 percent to $225,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales increased again in June, edging up 1.2 percent with a total of 678 units sold. The average price rose 7.6 percent to $215,713, while the median price climbed 3.6 percent to $171,000. Inventory grew from a 3.5-months supply to 4.3 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

Houston’s lease market surged further in June, with consumer demand persisting among both single-family and townhome/condominium properties. Single-family home leases jumped 17.4 percent while townhome/condominium leases soared 21.3 percent. The average rent for single-family homes declined 4.0 percent to $1,806, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums rose 2.5 percent to $1,698.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in June
  • Single-family home sales rose 8.3 percent year-over-year with 8,414 units sold – the largest one-month sales volume of all time;
  • Total property sales increased 8.3 percent with 9,993 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 10.4 percent to $2.9 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 2.6 percent to a record high of $239,023;
  • The single-family home average price increased 1.5 percent to $304,155, which was also a record high;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew to a 4.4-months supply, the highest level since October 2012;
  • Townhome/condominium sales edged up 1.2 percent, with the average price up 7.6 percent to $215,713 and the median price up 3.6 percent to $171,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes jumped 17.4 percent with average rent down 4.0 percent to $1,806;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases rocketed 21.3 percent with average rent up 2.5 percent to $1,698.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 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. The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 36,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

HOUSTON HOME SALES AND RENTALS HEAT UP IN MA

June 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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MLS Report for May 2017
HOUSTON HOME SALES AND RENTALS HEAT UP IN MAY

Market continues to outpace last year’s record performance

HOUSTON — (June 13, 2017) Sales and rentals of homes throughout greater Houston continue to outpace 2016’s record performance, as May marked another month of strong consumer activity and growing inventory. The greatest sales gains took place among homes priced from $750,000 and above (categorized as the luxury market), followed by homes in the $150,000 to $249,999 range. May marked the seventh consecutive month of rising sales in the luxury segment.

A total of 8,156 single-family homes sold in May versus 7,315 a year earlier, according to the latest monthly report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). That represents an 11.5 percent increase. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are ahead of 2016’s volume by 7.4 percent. New listings elevated inventory levels from a 3.6-months supply to 4.1 months, the highest in nearly five years.

“The Houston housing market had another strong showing in May with sales and rental properties alike, and inventory continues to accommodate the growing demand,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties. “If we can maintain this pace, there’s no doubt that 2017 will be a record year for Houston real estate.”

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) climbed 4.4 percent to $235,000. That marks the highest median price of all time. The average price rose 4.3 percent to $302,362, the second highest average ever.

May sales of all property types in Houston totaled 9,744, up 12.3 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in May shot up 17.4 percent to $2.8 billion.

May Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston real estate market benefited from gains in all measurements during the month of May, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume, inventory and pricing all up compared to May 2016.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,808, up 18.2 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 16.4 percent from May 2016 to 41,257.

Single-family homes inventory grew from a 3.6-months supply to 4.1 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.2-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES MAY 2016 MAY 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 8,676 9,744 12.3%
Total dollar volume $2,376,765,737 $2,790,499,524 17.4%
Total active listings 35,431 41,257 16.4%
Single-family home sales 7,315 8,156 11.5%
Single-family average sales price $289,843 $302,362 4.3%
Single-family median sales price $225,000 $235,000 4.4%
Single-family months inventory* 3.6 4.1 0.5 mos.
Single-family pending sales 7,454 8,808 18.2%

* 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
Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 8,156, up 11.5 percent from May 2016, when it was 7,315. The median price rose 4.4 percent to an all-time record high of $235,000. The average price climbed 4.3 percent to $302,362, the second highest of all time. The highest average price was $302,629, reached in June 2015.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, declined slightly to 51 days versus 53 last year. Inventory rose from a 3.6-months supply to 4.1 months, matching a level not seen since November 2012.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: unchanged
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 5.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 13.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 12.9 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 8.5 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 27.6 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 6,891 in May, up 13.3 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 5.2 percent to $290,696 while the median sales price also rose 5.2 percent to $221,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales were up again in May, soaring 16.5 percent with a total of 728 units sold. The average price increased 3.1 percent to $206,363, while the median price edged up 0.9 percent to $163,500. Inventory grew from a 3.4-months supply to 4.2 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

Houston’s lease market surged in May, with strong consumer demand among both single-family and townhome/condominium properties. Single-family home leases shot up 31.0 percent while townhome/condominium leases rocketed 46.2 percent. The average rent for single-family homes declined 4.2 percent to $1,779, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums dropped 6.7 percent to $1,565.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in May
  • Single-family home sales rose 11.5 percent year-over-year with 8,156 units sold;
  • Total property sales increased 12.3 percent with 9,744 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 17.4 percent to $2.8 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 4.4 percent to a record high of $235,000;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 4.3 percent to $302,362, which was the second highest level of all time (highest was $302,629 in June 2015);
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew to a 4.1-months supply, the highest level since November 2012;
  • Townhome/condominium sales surged 16.5 percent, with the average price up 3.1 percent to $206,363 and the median price up 0.9 percent to $163,500;
  • Leases of single-family homes soared 31.0 percent with average rent down 4.2 percent to $1,779;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases rocketed 46.2 percent with average rent down 6.7 percent to $1,565.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 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. The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 36,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®

May 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

Ethical treatment.
Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.

An expert guide.
Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.

Objective information and opinions.
REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.

Expanded search power.
Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.

Negotiation knowledge.
There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.

Up-to-date experience.
Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.

Your rock during emotional moments.
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.

HOUSTON HOME SALES BLOSSOM IN MARCH

April 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Sales volume, pricing and inventory maintain their positive trajectory; rental properties experience a surge

HOUSTON — (April 12, 2017) The Houston real estate market’s 2017 winning streak continued in March, as single-family home sales and pricing rose while housing inventory grew. The strongest sales activity took place among homes in the $250,000 to $499,999 range, followed by the luxury market ($750,000 and above), which recorded its fifth consecutive month of sales gains. Inventory levels expanded from a 3.5-months supply to 3.8 months.

A total of 7,013 single-family homes sold in March versus 6,278 a year earlier, according to the latest monthly report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). That represents an 11.7 percent increase. However, it is important to note that this gain compares to a March 2016 housing market that was facing uncertainty about the possible effects of falling oil prices.

“Houston home sales blossomed in March, but we also saw tremendous activity in the rental market,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties. “A healthy pace of new listings helped inventory levels grow, which is critical if we are to maintain the positive momentum.”

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) climbed 5.8 percent to $227,530. That marks the highest median price ever for a March. The average price rose 4.6 percent to $284,279, which also represents a March high.

March sales of all property types in Houston totaled 8,495, up 10.5 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in March rocketed 15.6 percent to $2.3 billion.

March Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston real estate market enjoyed across-the-board gains in all statistical indicators during the month of March, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing all up versus March of 2016.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,311, an increase of 16.7 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 9.9 percent from March 2016 to 37,926.

Single-family homes inventory grew from a 3.5-months supply to 3.8 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. also currently stands at a 3.8-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES MARCH 2016 MARCH 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 7,688 8,495 10.5%
Total dollar volume $1,970,078,537 $2,278,567,977 15.7%
Total active listings 34,512 37,926 9.9%
Single-family home sales 6,278 7,013 11.7%
Single-family average sales price $271,781 $284,279 4.6%
Single-family median sales price $215,000 $227,530 5.8%
Single-family months inventory* 3.5 3.8 0.3 mos.
Single-family pending sales 7,124 8,311 16.7%

* 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
Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 7,013, up 11.7 percent from 6,278 in March 2016, when the market was on edge about weakness in the energy industry. The median price rose 5.8 percent to a March high of $227,530. The average price climbed 4.6 percent to $284,279, also a record high for a March. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, rose slightly to 60 days versus 58 last year.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 14.8 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 8.1 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 11.8 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 23.1 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 11.0 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 19.0 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,839 in March, up 13.3 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 7.6 percent to $270,122 while the median sales price jumped 8.2 percent to $211,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales were up again in March, with 652 units selling versus 607 a year earlier. That represents an increase of 7.4 percent. The average price rose 3.4 percent to $200,556, while the median price was flat at $154,250. Inventory grew from a 3.5-months supply to 4.0 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

The lease market exploded in March, with strong consumer demand among both single-family and townhome/condominium properties. Single-family home leases surged 36.6 percent while townhome/condominium leases leapt 37.8 percent. The average rent for single-family homes declined 4.9 percent to $1,647, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums dropped 5.6 percent to $1,487.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in March
  • Single-family home sales rose 11.7 percent year-over-year with 7.013 units sold, the third consecutive monthly gain of 2017;
  • Total property sales jumped 10.5 percent with 8,495 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume soared 15.7 percent to $2.3 billion;
  • At $227,530, the single-family home median price rose 5.8 percent to a March high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 4.6 percent to $284,279, which was also the highest level for a March;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew to a 3.8-months supply, matching the national level reported by NAR;
  • Townhome/condominium sales increased 7.4 percent, with the average price up 3.4 percent to $200,556 and the median price unchanged at $154,250;
  • Leases of single-family homes rocketed 36.6 percent with average rent down 4.9 percent to $1,647;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases surged 37.8 percent with average rent down 5.6 percent to $1,487.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 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.The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 36,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

How to Make an Offer on a Home

April 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 
How to Make an Offer on a Home

When you have found a home you love, it’s time to make an offer. Ideally, your offer will make the seller and you happy and assured that between your offer and closing everything will go smoothly. As the buyer you need to know how to make the best possible offer on the home. Matching the seller’s list price isn’t your only concern. Your agent should advise you of all of your options while preparing your offer contract. The terms included in your offer can represent thousands of dollars in additional value (or additional costs) to you. These terms are important and you should carefully review them. Here are some other important items to consider when you make an offer to buy a home:

How Much Should You Offer?

The amount you offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If inventory is low and multiple buyers are competing for a home, sellers will likely get full-price offers and a house may sell for more than the asking price. If demand is weak, an offer less than the asking price might be a savvy strategy. If you are considering a low-ball offer, ask your agent to substantiate the price for you.

The process of making a purchase offer varies state to state, but typically you’ll complete an offer sheet that your REALTOR® will present to the owner and the owner’s representative.

When you make an offer you are telling the seller not just what you’re willing to pay, but how you’re going to do it. You’re offer should also include an expiration date and provide you with an escape route if you find out something about the house that the seller won’t fix. Without that, you may find yourself handcuffed to the purchase no matter what you discover.

negotiateNegotiate and Write Counteroffers

Because counteroffers are common, expect the seller to issue one (any change in an offer is considered a counteroffer). It’s important for you to remain in close contact with your REALTOR during the negotiation process so that you can quickly review any proposed changes.

If the seller counters at full price, continue to negotiate. During offer negotiation, share personal information about yourself and your family to give the seller a reason to care about you.

At some point the seller will accept or reject the offer. If your offer is rejected, ask your agent to explain why and don’t repeat that mistake with your next offer.

Make an Earnest Money Deposit

The seller will want to know that you have the financing in order and that it’s solid. A pre-approval letter, which is often required by sellers, can help give the seller confidence to accept your offer. It shows you’re working with a lender and that the lender is willing to loan you the money needed to finance the home.

When your offer is accepted, you’ll likely be asked to deposit an “earnest money” check or money order. The check will be placed into an escrow account and used as part of your down payment. Earnest money is essentially a deposit and shows the seller that you are serious. Your agent should help advise you about the customary amount for the market.

Earnest money is the deposit you are putting at risk if you back out for reasons not outlined in your offer. Never make your check payable to the seller. And your offer should contain contingencies that will return your earnest money deposit to you if you cancel the contract.

Now that your offer has been accepted and monies have been deposited, your next steps on the journey to homeownership will include:

  • Open Escrow / Order Title
  • Order Appraisal
  • Comply With Lender Requirements
  • Approve Seller Disclosures
  • Order Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
  • Conduct Home Inspection
  • Issue Request for Repair
  • Remove Contingencies
  • Do Final Walk Through
  • Sign Loan / Escrow Documents
  • Deposit Funds
  • Close Escrow

Buying a home can be quite an arduous journey but it also can be exciting and well worth it when you own the home you love.

An accepted contract is just the beginning

March 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

As a homebuyer or seller, an accepted contract is exciting. But hang on … the deal’s not done.

Thankfully, if you’re working with a REALTOR®, he or she can guide you through all the potential twists and turns on the way to closing.

An option to back out

For starters, most purchase contracts include a termination option. The buyer pays the seller a fee for a specified period of time during which the buyer can cancel the contract. The buyer can exercise this option for any reason. In fact, he doesn’t even have to explain why.

A closer look at the property

Buyers usually hire inspectors during the termination-option period. Inspections that reveal items in need of repair may prompt a buyer to ask for a price reduction or repairs prior to closing. Or the buyer may simply choose to cancel the deal.

Financing considerations

Transactions sometimes unravel when a buyer cannot obtain the financing specified in the contract or the property does not meet the lender’s requirements. For example, appraisals can come in lower than the purchase price, or there may be issues with obtaining insurance for the home.

The list goes on

Option periods, inspections, and financing are three common trouble spots for transactions, but there are many others. Problems with title insurance or the survey, disagreements about items that convey, issues related to homeowners associations, or damage to the property after acceptance of the contract but before closing are a few examples of issues that can arise.

You have a valuable resource

Communicating with your REALTOR® about each stage of the transaction will minimize surprises and increase the chances that your transaction will proceed smoothly.

Little things that make a big impression on buyers

March 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

02/17/2017 | Author: Ward Lowe

It doesn’t take much to change a buyer’s impression of a home.

Add some peeling paint, a leaky faucet, and dirty dishes in the sink of an otherwise appealing house, and suddenly the buyer crosses that property off his list. Just as minor imperfections can turn off a buyer, a few small actions by you can make your home seem even more appealing.

Fix conspicuous problems. You want to put your home’s best foot forward. If you can’t afford to remedy all the problems with the house, at least fix obvious ones. A buyer will notice the rotten porch railing or cracked window pane on a casual walk-through.

Show the owner’s manuals. Sure, everything’s available online, but you still need to know the model number of your oven, dishwasher, and microwave when something breaks. Showing buyers that you’ve kept that information suggests that you’ve taken care of other things related to the house.

Make an effort outside. Short grass makes bare patches less obvious, and a few bags of mulch around trees and in flower beds can work magic on an otherwise lackluster yard. Add in a planter of colorful flowers by the front door, and you’ve added significantly to your curb appeal.

A little effort goes a long way with buyers, so ensure your home makes a great first impression.

THE HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET LAUNCHES 2017 IN POSITIVE TERRITORY

February 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

Sales volume and pricing were up in January; inventory grew

HOUSTON — (February 8, 2017) The Houston housing market carried its positive momentum from 2016 into the new year, with single-family home sales and pricing both on the rise in January. Homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 showed the strongest sales activity, and the luxury market ($750,000 and above) enjoyed its third consecutive month in the black, reflecting resistance to any lingering effects of the ailing energy industry.

According to the latest monthly report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), a total of 4,080 single-family homes sold in January compared to 4,011 a year earlier. That represents an increase of 1.7 percent. Housing inventory grew from a 3.3-months supply to 3.5 months.

“The Houston real estate market is off to an impressive start for 2017, with the end of the holidays and rising interest rates spurring many on-the-fence buyers to take action in January,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties. “It is especially encouraging to see vitality in the high end of the market, which faltered in response to falling oil prices, but has now registered positive sales for three straight months.”

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 4.0 percent to $210,000. That marks the highest median price ever for a January. The average price jumped 5.3 percent to $275,696, which also represents a January high.

January sales of all property types in Houston totaled 4,997, up 0.9 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in January increased 6.2 percent to $1.3 billion.

January Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market saw across-the-board gains in January, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing all up compared to January 2016.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,286, an increase of 24.7 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 8.6 percent from January 2016 to 34,958.

Single-family homes inventory grew from a 3.3-months supply to 3.5 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 3.6-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES JANUARY 2016 JANUARY 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 4,953 4,997 0.9%
Total dollar volume $1,227,395,347 $1,303,839,766 6.2%
Total active listings 32,190 34,958 8.6%
Single-family home sales 4,011 4,080 1.7%
Single-family average sales price $261,847 $275,696 5.3%
Single-family median sales price $202,000 $210,000 4.0%
Single-family months inventory* 3.3 3.5 0.2 mos.
Single-family pending sales 5,041 6,286 24.7%

* 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
Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 4,080, up 1.7 percent from January 2016, when sales volume totaled 4,011. The median price rose 4.0 percent to a January high of $210,000. The average price climbed 5.3 percent to $275,696, also a record high for a January. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up to 64 days versus 63 last year.

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

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 16.3 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 9.4 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 4.1 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 3.7 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 16.5 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 14.3 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 3,429 in January, up 2.6 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 6.5 percent to $259,865 while the median sales price jumped 5.4 percent to $195,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales fell in January, with 369 units selling versus 390 a year earlier. That represents a decline of 5.4 percent. The average price rose 1.4 percent to $187,176, while the median price slipped 1.1 percent to $138,000. Inventory jumped from a 3.0-months supply to 3.6 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

The lease market had a strong showing in January. Single-family home leases climbed 5.7 percent and townhome/condominium leases increased 6.0 percent. The average rent for single-family homes dropped 1.3 percent to $1,718, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums fell 4.7 percent to $1,497.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in January
  • Single-family home sales rose 1.7 percent with 4,080 units sold;
  • Total property sales edged up 0.9 percent with 4,997 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 6.2 percent to $1.3 billion;
  • At $210,000, the single-family home median price rose 4.0 percent to a January high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 5.3 percent to $275,696, which was also the highest level for a January;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.5-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 5.4 percent, with the average price up 1.4 percent to $187,178 and the median price down 1.1 percent to $138,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 5.7 percent with average rent down slightly to $1,718;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums increased 6.0 percent with average rent down 4.7 percent to $1,497.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 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. The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 36,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

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