THE LUXURY MARKET LEADS THE WAY IN HOUSTON’S APRIL HOME SALES GAINS

May 20, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

Single-family home sales achieve the biggest increase of 2019

HOUSTON — (May 8, 2019) — Lower mortgage interest rates, improving oil prices, steady economic growth and a more plentiful supply of housing translated to a strong month for home sales throughout greater Houston in April. Luxury homes (priced at $750,000 and above) drew the greatest volume of sales followed closely by homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. Housing inventory grew to its highest level since last September, keeping up with consumer demand midway through the spring buying season.

According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of single-family homes increased 7.8 percent in April, with 7,586 homes sold compared to 7,035 in April 2018. That marks the third straight month of positive sales and the biggest volume gain of 2019. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 2.2 percent ahead of last year’s record pace.

Single-family homes prices reached record highs for an April. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.1 percent to $245,000 and the average price was up 1.9 percent to $310,676 – the second highest average of all time.

April sales of all property types totaled 9,063, up 7.8 percent compared to the same month last year. Total dollar volume for the month jumped 9.6 percent to about $2.7 billion.

“Consumers have been taking advantage of optimal conditions for homebuying, with low interest rates and a growing supply of properties, and that has powered Houston to a strong springtime performance,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “The rental market also remains healthy, and we’re relieved to see sales finally turning around among townhomes and condominiums.”

Lease Property Update

April saw continued demand for single-family rentals, which jumped 12.7 percent compared to a year earlier. However, interest in townhome/condominium rentals waned, declining 4.4 percent. The average rent for a single-family home edged up less than one percent to $1,795 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums also increased less than one percent to $1,586.

April Monthly Market Comparison

The measurements were all in positive territory for the Houston real estate market in April. Single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing were all up compared to April 2018. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 9,467, a 17.8 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 13.8 percent to 42,086.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single-family homes inventory expanded to a 4.0-months supply in April. That is up from 3.5 months a year earlier and marks the greatest supply of homes since September 2018. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. is currently 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 rose 7.8 percent in March, with 7,586 units sold throughout the greater Houston area versus 7,035 a year earlier. That marks the third consecutive month of positive sales activity and the biggest volume gain of 2019.

 

 

Prices reached the highest levels ever for an April. The median price increased 2.1 percent to $245,000. The average price rose 1.9 percent to $310,676 – the second highest average of all time (the highest was $315,492 in June 2018).

 

 

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up from 56 to 57 days. Inventory grew to a 4.0-months supply. That is up from 3.5 months a year earlier and represents the greatest supply of homes in seven months. It is also slightly above the national inventory of 3.9 months reported by NAR.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 17.0 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 14.6 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 12.5 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 9.4 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 6.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 14.2 percent

HAR also monitors sales activity among existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 6,138 in April, up 7.3 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price edged up 1.1 percent to $300,195 while the median sales price rose a fractional 0.7 percent to $230,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhouse and condominium sales were flat in April, finally bringing to an end seven consecutive months of declines. A total of 595 townhouses and condominiums sold, matching last April’s volume. The average price fell 8.4 percent to $203,751 while the median price dropped 9.0 percent to $163,000. Inventory grew from a 3.9-months supply to 4.5 months.

 

 

Houston Real Estate Highlights in April

  • Single-family home sales rose 7.8 percent year-over-year, with 7,586 units sold, marking the third consecutive month of positive sales and the biggest volume increase of 2019;
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are 2.2 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes edged up from 56 to 57 days;
  • Total property sales increased 7.8 percent, with 9,063 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 9.6 percent to about $2.7 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 2.1 percent to $245,000, achieving an April high;
  • The single-family home average price was up 1.9 percent to an April high of $310,676 – the second highest average of all time;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory reached a 4.0-months supply, up from 3.5 months last April and the most plentiful level since September 2018. For comparison, the national inventory is at a 3.9-months supply, according to NAR;
  • Townhome/condominium sales ended seven months of declines with a flat sales volume of 595 units, the average price down 8.4 percent to $203,751 and the median price down 9.0 percent to $163,000;
  • Single-family home rentals surged 12.7 percent with the average rent up less than one percent to at $1,795;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases declined 4.4 percent with the average rent up less than one percent to $1,586.

HOUSTON HOME RENTALS SOAR IN FEBRUARY WHILE SALES RECOVER

March 20, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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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.

Top 10 value-enhancing home improvement projects for older homes

February 26, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

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Article from Brandpoint Content.

Top home improvement projects for older homes

(BPT) – Do you own an older home, and are you looking to make upgrades that matter? Strategic enhancements not only increase a property’s resale value, but also its functionality.

This is particularly important among young homebuyers. Sixty-eight percent of millennial homebuyers reported buyer’s remorse, according to a Bank of the West survey. Today’s high home prices in cities across the country mean that many millennials are buying older homes rather than newly built ones. Shortly after the purchase, these homebuyers feel disappointed with the dated features of their homes, unsure what and where to renovate.

If you feel you’ve settled for your home, or perhaps you love the older property but want to give it a face-lift, here are some leading home-improvement projects for older homes:

Technology additions: Smart-home features are frequently requested in new construction. Fortunately, your older home can become a smart home too when you implement technology, such as home automation. Thanks to WiFi, there’s no need for clumsy and costly rewiring. Smart thermostats, smart music and programmable lighting are prime examples.

Tankless water heaters: Tankless water heaters are ideal for older homes because they are easy to install, take up much less space and can reduce energy costs by as much as 60 percent. Because they heat water on demand, you never have to worry about running out of hot water. What’s more, longer warranties than what can be found with traditional storage-tank water heaters are now available. Check out the new 25-year warranty from Noritz on select tankless water heaters.

Wall removal: Removing a wall between the kitchen and living room can enhance the functionality of the area and provide a modern open concept design. Cutouts in walls are another option if the wall cannot be completely removed. Remember to ensure any wall is not load-bearing before removal, so you don’t impact the structural integrity of the home.

Popcorn ceilings: Once upon a time, popcorn ceilings were the top trend installed in every house. Today, they distract the eye and make a home look old. Consider hiring someone to redo your ceilings or research how to scrape it yourself. Leave flat or add a knock-down texture, which is a popular modern drywall finishing technique.

New paint/wallpaper: That ’70s pea-green paint in the bathroom and the ’80s floral wallpaper in the bedroom instantly date your home. By updating the walls, your house will feel more modern and you can customize to your personal tastes. Dedicate a weekend to painting the walls in your favorite spaces and you’ll be amazed at the transformation.

Painting old grout: After years and sometimes decades, grout in bathrooms and kitchen spaces really takes a beating and turns a dirty color that’s impossible to clean. It can be time-consuming and tedious to replace grout, so to get a fresh look consider painting it instead. Specialty grout paint makes the process simple with easy application features that simply roll on.

Update hardware: Hardware throughout a home gets dingy and dated. To update a space without an overhaul, simply change out the hardware. Cabinet knobs, drawer handles, towel racks and more in a modern metallic hue can make a space feel fresh again without much investment. Don’t forget about air registers, which can also impact the visual appeal of a space.

Energy-efficient insulation: There are many modern insulation options available today that weren’t around when older homes were built, and many of those homes have little to no insulation at all. In addition to insulation, remember to seal spaces for air loss, such as air ducts, doors, windows, pipe inlets and the attic.

Embrace the history: Be sure to research the history of the home and neighborhood. Would pulling out that original wood built-in be a detriment to the home’s authenticity and value? Perhaps you can hire someone to update the original wood flooring, so it has the modern stain tone you like, but the planks still maintain the home’s original luster.

Light fixtures: Light-fixture styles change through the years and can make your home appear older than necessary. Replacements can make a world of difference. For example, replace an old brass chandelier with a modern pendant design. Not only will it be a style update, but the light output can make the space more usable.

THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET BREAKS RECORDS IN 2018

January 16, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Sluggish December sales and limited housing supply can’t slow down overall real estate activity for the year

HOUSTON — (January 9, 2019) — The Houston real estate market set new records in 2018 despite uncertainty across the region when the year began, with many survivors of Hurricane Harvey still rebuilding their homes and lives. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed 2017’s record volume by nearly four percent. However, as 2019 gets underway, housing inventory remains constrained – still sitting below its more balanced pre-Harvey levels.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR) 2018 annual report, single family home sales rose 3.8 percent to 82,177 while sales of all property types totaled 98,323, a 3.7-percent increase over 2017’s record volume. Total dollar volume for full-year 2018 jumped 21.5 percent to a record-breaking $28 billion.

“We entered 2018 cautiously optimistic that the Houston real estate market would continue the resilience it showed after Hurricane Harvey, but no one that I know anticipated it being a record year,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “Now, as we look ahead to the new year, federal workers are on edge about the ongoing government shutdown and how that might hurt their cash flow, which could affect housing. And our market is still challenged in terms of housing inventory, which is something that truly needs to improve in 2019 to ensure that real estate remains a vibrant player in the overall Houston economy.”

December single-family home sales fell 4.1 percent to 6,543 versus December 2017. Only two housing segments saw positive sales activity, with the strongest taking place in the luxury market – that is, homes priced from $750,000 and up. Total property sales for the month declined 4.6 percent to 7,709.

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 3.4 percent to $240,000. That marks the highest median price ever for a December. The average price increased 4.7 percent to $306,314, which is also an all-time December high.

2018 Annual Market Comparison

As 2018 began, Houston’s overall economic landscape showed a gradual return to normalcy, with many Harvey-battered properties coming back online or being demolished and rebuilt altogether, and the resumption of hiring in a variety of industry sectors. Throughout the year, those employment trends contributed to an influx of home buyers and renters to the Houston area from across the country and around the world.

When HAR issued its August and September home sales reports, the association cautioned that much of the data was distorted because it compared to the period in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey struck and effectively halted real estate activity for the last week or so of August. Once transactions resumed during the early to middle part of September, the volume was unusually high. This created an exaggerated sales increase for August 2018 and, conversely, an exaggerated decline for September 2018.

Housing inventory grew to its highest levels – between a 4.0- and 4.1-months supply – from June through September, but by year’s end, had retreated to a 3.5-months supply as consumers grabbed available properties. Months of inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity.

By the time the final December sales numbers were tallied, a record 82,177 single-family homes had sold during 2018. That represents an increase of 3.8 percent from the previous record of 79,143 in 2017.

On a year-to-date basis, the average price rose 2.6 percent to $298,982 while the median price increased 3.3 percent to $237,500. Total dollar volume for full-year 2018 surged 21.5 percent to a record-setting $28 billion.

December Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market generated mixed results in December, with single-family home sales and total property sales down, but total dollar volume and pricing all up compared to December 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 5,120, an increase of 2.2 percent versus 2017. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 13.3 percent from December 2017 to 37,554.

Single-family homes inventory grew slightly from a 3.2-months supply to 3.5 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 3.9-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

December Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales totaled 6,543, down 4.1 percent from December 2017. The median price rose 3.4 percent to a December high of $240,000. The average price increased 4.7 percent to $306,314. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, rose from 63 to 64.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 31.0 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 27.5 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: decreased 1.9 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 1.4 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: decreased 7.4 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 20.0 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,975 in December, down 7.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.8 percent to $292,244 while the median sales price increased 3.8 percent to $220,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales also took a hit in December, falling 7.8 percent, with 506 units selling versus 549 a year earlier. The average price rose 4.6 percent to $206,760 and the median price jumped 8.1 percent to $169,500. Inventory grew from a 3.2-months supply to 3.8 months.

Lease Property Update

Houston’s lease market had a positive performance in December. Single-family home leases climbed 13.2 percent and townhome/condominium leases edged up 1.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was flat at $1,771 and the average rent for townhomes/condominiums was also flat at $1,532.

Houston Real Estate Highlights for December and Full-Year 2018

  • Despite uncertainties amid Houston’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey, 2018 proved to be a record year for Houston home sales with 82,177 single-family homes sold versus 79,143 in 2017, the last record-setting year. That represents an increase of 3.8 percent
  • Total dollar volume for full-year 2018 soared 21.5 percent to $28 billion;
  • December single-family home sales declined 4.1 percent year-over-year with 6,543 units sold;
  • Total December property sales fell 4.6 percent to 7,709 units;
  • Total dollar volume for December edged up 1.0 percent to $2.3 billion;
  • At $240,000, the single-family home median price rose 3.4 percent to a December high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 4.7 percent to a December high of $306,314;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew slightly to a 3.5-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 7.8 percent, with the average price up 4.6 percent to $206,760 and the median price up 8.1 percent to $169,500;
  • Leases of single-family homes shot up 13.2 percent with average rent unchanged at $1,771;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums edged up 1.6 percent with average also unchanged at $1,532.

Home Repair No-Nos: Repair Tips for Every Homeowner

November 19, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

By HomeCareBuzz

Are you a first-time homeowner? Have you purchased a new-to-you home? Either way, you have a lot to do. When you’re starting out as a new homeowner, it can be hard to know the right things to do and NOT to do when it comes to home maintenance, cleaning, and general upkeep. Here is some guidance to help you know what not to do.

New Homeowner No-Nos – Inside

Sealants

Needlessly applying sealant to surfaces can permanently discolor stone, concrete, and glass, to name a few. Never use sealant on natural materials like quartz, plastic materials like laminates, or commercial acrylic products such as Formica and Corian. Generally, most materials will not need reapplication of sealants very often. Instead, test surfaces using water to check if it’s time to reseal. For example, if water on a kitchen countertop no longer beads, it may be time to reapply.

Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners contain active ingredients that can damage plumbing. Drain cleaners may seem like easy, short-term fixes for clogs, but they can lead to long-term, costly problems. And the chemicals in drain cleaners are just plain bad for the earth. Instead, invest your money in a good plunger, a drain snake for tougher clogs, and if those plumbing tools don’t work, call a plumber.

Glass Cleaners

Here’s a little-known consequence to spraying commercial glass cleaner on mirrors: The liquid can seep into the backing on many types of mirrors, leading to discoloring around the edges of the mirror over time and irreparably damaging the backing. Instead, simply dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and immediately apply a dry cloth to remove excess water. Read More…

Why Should You Hire a Real Estate Pro?

October 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

By HomeCareBuzz

Why should I hire a real estate pro to buy or sell a house? If you’ve ever asked that question, the answer is: Guidance. You need a real estate pro to guide you, no matter where you land on the home buying or selling spectrum. And guidance is only one of the reasons why using an agent will matter to you. Whether you’re a homebuyer or seller, learn these ABCs on the importance of hiring a real estate pro.

Access

Access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is critical to selling a home and real estate pros have it. The MLS is the most up-to-date database of all homes for sale. A listing on the MLS is also important because every other real estate pro in the area will have access to info about your home. The MLS maximizes your reach to a greater pool of potential buyers.

Access to MLS also matters if you’re in the market to buy a home. You know what you want and a real estate pro can search MLS for available homes that match your requirements. Want to visit a home your agent finds? Your agent will do the legwork for you, contacting the seller’s agent to make the appointment.

Bidding

Unless you negotiate for a living, it pays to have a real estate pro in your corner. Whether fielding bids for your home, or making bids on a home you want, agents know how to negotiate. And negotiation just may be the biggest part of the real estate game. With the hot housing market now, bidding wars will be a reality for both buyers and sellers. The real estate pro you hire works for you to get you the best deal.

Clients

A big reason to hire a real estate pro when you’re ready to sell your home? Clients. They have them – people they know who want to buy a home. And real estate pros will also use their local network to get the word out, helping you reach more potential buyers.

Real estate pros rely on client referrals to grow their business. So they work hard to ensure their home selling or buying clients are satisfied with their sale. Because the pros know each successful transaction can lead to repeat business. more…

HURRICANE HARVEY DISTORTS HOUSTON HOUSING ANALYSIS

September 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

Current market conditions are healthy, but storm’s effects distort traditional measurements

HOUSTON — (September 12, 2018) — Thousands of people are still haunted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects as they continue to rebuild their homes and lives. Even now, the storm is affecting the way housing numbers compare August 2018 to August 2017. The traditional year-over-year measurements that the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR) uses to track market trends have been thrown out of whack because Harvey halted most real estate activity across the greater Houston market during the final week of August 2017 and beyond. Therefore, this HAR report presents the actual numbers of our August 2018 – August 2017 comparison while offering additional analysis to help provide more accurate and statistically relevant assessment of market conditions by removing the “Harvey effect.”

According to the traditional, full-month numbers, Houston single-family home sales rose 37.2 percent year-over-year, with 8,358 homes sold in August versus 6,090 one year earlier when Harvey struck the region. HAR isolated single-family home sales for the period of August 1 – 24 since Harvey’s effects began to take a toll on the market on August 25, 2017. That analysis showed sales up 7.6 percent in August 2018, with 5,844 homes sold through August 24 of this year compared to 5,433 during the same time frame last year.

HAR also compared August 2018 home sales to August 2016 – the last August for which a complete month of data were available. A total of 8,016 single-family homes sold back then, accounting for a 4.3 percent increase two years later. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are currently 7.2 percent ahead of 2017’s record volume.

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 $236,870, and the average price increased 1.9 percent to $300,670. Both represent the highest figures ever for an August.

“We all know how catastrophic Harvey was and how incredibly resilient our community has been, so HAR has taken great care to gauge Houston’s August housing market performance as accurately as possible given the data distortions caused by the disaster,” explained HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “We will likely see similar distortions in the September numbers, as Harvey’s effects lingered, however current market conditions are healthy, with single-family home sales and rentals up despite constrained inventory.”

Not adjusted to account for Harvey, August sales of all property types totaled 9,978, up 36.8-percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume shot up 40.1 percent, reaching $2.86 billion.

Lease Property Update
There was mixed consumer interest on the property lease front in August, with single-family up and townhome/condominium down, regardless of how HAR analyzed that year-over-year data. Not adjusted to account for the “Harvey effect,” single-family home rentals climbed 13.9 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums were down 1.2 percent. For the period of August 1 – 24, not affected by Harvey, single-family rentals were up 7.6 percent while townhome/condominium rentals fell 8.3 percent.

The average rent for single-family homes rose 3.4 percent to $1,926 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 5.5 percent to $1,639.

August Monthly Market Comparison
The Houston real estate market generated positive activity in August, with single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all up compared to August 2017. Without accounting for the effects of Hurricane Harvey – which halted most sales activity from August 25-31, 2017 – month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,084, a 43.9 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, were up 0.3 percent to 41,991. Single-family homes inventory remains constrained, reaching a 4.1-months supply in August, which is down fractionally from the 4.3-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 4.3-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).   

Single-Family Homes Update
When not accounting for the disruptive effects of Hurricane Harvey on real estate during the final week of August 2017, sales of single-family homes jumped 37.2 percent in August, with 8,358 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 6,090 a year earlier. In order to eliminate the data distortions caused by the natural disaster, HAR analyzed year-over-year sales activity between August 1 – 24, before Harvey struck. That analysis showed 5,844 single-family home sales in 2018 versus 5,433 in 2017 – an increase of 7.6 percent. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 7.2 percent ahead of 2017’s record pace.

Prices reached the highest levels ever for an August. The median price increased 3.0 percent to $236,870. The average price rose 1.9 percent to $300,670. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was 49 days versus 51 a year earlier. Inventory registered a 4.1-months supply, down slightly from 4.3 months a year earlier.

HAR has produced two sets of price-segmented home sales data for August.

This first set does not factor out the “Harvey effect”:

  • $1 – $99,999: increased 33.5 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: increased 8.0 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 46.0 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 46.0 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 53.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 34.6 percent

This data set reflects the pre-Harvey (August 1 – 24) comparison:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 2.4 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 12.4 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 7.3 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 13.7 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 16.7 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 15.4 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,116 in August, an increase of 36.3 percent versus the same month last year when not removing the distortions caused by Hurricane Harvey. The average sales price increased 3.7 percent to $291,723 while the median sales price rose 2.7 percent to $225,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update
Sales of townhomes and condominiums rose in August, with or without the “Harvey effect.” The traditional full-month comparison shows that 665 units sold versus 465 a year earlier, accounting for a 43.0 percent increase.

 

When isolating the August 1 – 24 time period, sales rose 12.3 percent year-over-year, with 457 units sold in 2018 compared to 407 one year earlier. The average price increased 5.4 percent to $207,185 and the median price rose 3.3 percent to $164,240. Inventory declined slightly from a 4.4-months supply to 4.3 months.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in August
(* asterisk denotes that the “Harvey effect” has been removed):

  • Single-family home sales rose 7.6 percent year-over-year, with 5,844 units sold*;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes declined slightly to 49 days;
  • Total property sales jumped 36.8 percent, with 9,978 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume increased 40.1 percent to $2.86 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 3.0 percent to $236,870, reaching an August high;
  • The single-family home average price also achieved an August record, rising 1.9 percent to $300,670;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 4.1-months supply, down from 4.3 months last August and equal to the national level;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 12.3 percent year-over-year, with 457 units sold in 2018 compared to 407 one year earlier*;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 7.6 percent with the average rent up 3.4 percent to $1,926*;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases fell 8.6 percent with the average rent up 5.5 percent to $1,639*. 

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE HAS A SPRING IN ITS STEP IN APRIL

May 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

Home sales and rentals rebound and prices reach record highs

After a sluggish March, the Houston real estate market rebounded in April with a nearly seven percent jump in home sales and the highest average and median prices of all time. Consumers also kept the lease market humming with gains in the rental of single-family homes and townhomes/condominiums.

According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), 7,070 single-family homes sold in April versus 6,611 a year earlier. For the third straight month, the best-performing segment of the market consisted of homes priced in the $500,000 to $749,999 range, which shot up nearly 30 percent. The luxury market – those homes priced at $750,000 and above – rose almost five percent after being flat for two consecutive months.

Home prices reached the highest levels of all time. The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) increased 5.3 percent to $240,000 and the average price climbed 5.2 percent to $305,092.

“April proved to be a strong month for the Houston housing market on both the purchase and rental sides, and mind you that is compared to a record year in 2017,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “As long as inventory levels can keep up with the increased buyer demand, we would expect sales volume to remain strong in the months ahead.”

April sales of all property types in Houston totaled 8,453, an increase of 3.2 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume rose 10.5 percent to $2.4 billion.

Lease Property Update

Property leases had a healthy performance in April. Single-family home rentals increased 2.0 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums jumped 8.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes rose 3.6 percent to $1,778 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums edged up 1.1 percent to $1,576.

April Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston real estate market achieved gains in all but two categories during the month of April, with single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all up compared to April 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,766, up 15.5 percent from last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 3.8 percent to 36,882.

Single-family homes inventory reached a 3.6-months supply in April versus 3.8 months a year earlier, but is at its highest level since last November. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. also stands at a 3.6-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales rose 6.9 percent in April, with 7,070 units sold throughout greater Houston compared to 6,611 a year earlier. That is the greatest one-month sales volume since July 2017. Sales volume within the luxury market – defined as homes priced from $750,000 and up – saw gains after remaining flat for two consecutive months. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 3.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record pace.

Prices reached historic highs in April. The median price increased 5.3 percent to $240,000. The average price jumped 5.2 percent to $305,092.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up from 55 to 56 days. Inventory narrowed from a 3.8-months supply to a 3.6-months supply year-over-year, but is at its highest level since November 2017 and is the same as the national inventory level.

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

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 6.8 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 21.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 7.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 16.8 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 28.7 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 4.7 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,813 in April, up 6.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 9.0 percent to $297,745 while the median sales price rose 8.0 percent to $229,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Sales of townhomes and condominiums edged up 0.5 percent in April, with a total of 598 units sold versus 595 a year earlier. The average price rose 5.9 percent to $220,704 while the median price increased 2.8 percent to $176,730. Inventory held steady at a 4.0-months supply.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in April

  • Single-family home sales jumped 6.9 percent year-over-year, with 7,070 units sold;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes increased slightly from 55 to 56 days;
  • Total property sales rose 5.1 percent with 8,453 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume increased 10.5 percent to $2.4 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 5.3 percent to $240,000, which represents an all-time high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 5.2 percent to a record high of $305,092;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory shrank year-over-year from a 3.8-months supply to 3.6 months, the highest level since last November and the same as the national inventory level;
  • Townhome/condominium sales increased 0.5 percent, with the average price up 5.9 percent to $220,704 and the median price up 2.8 percent to $176,730;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 2.0 percent with the average rent up 3.6 percent to $1,778;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases jumped 8.6 percent with average rent up 1.1 percent to $1,576.

FEBRUARY MARKS A GENERALLY POSITIVE MONTH FOR HOUSTON HOME SALES

March 22, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 
MLS Report for February 2018

Luxury market sees improvement, but inventory overall shrinks

HOUSTON — (March 14, 2018) Houston home sales enjoyed their second positive month of the new year, and after three months of declines, stability returned to the luxury market. However, the overall supply of homes across greater Houston shrank slightly in February, narrowing options for house hunters heading into the traditionally active spring home-buying season.

According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of single-family homes rose 5.3 percent in February, with 5,260 units sold. Homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 experienced the strongest sales activity.

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) increased 1.4 percent to $226,200 – the highest median ever for a February. The average price eked out a fractional 0.4 percent gain to reach a February high of $281,945.

“February was a positive month overall for Houston real estate, but we really need growth in inventory to ensure that there is a plentiful supply of homes as we enter the spring buying season,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JP Morgan Chase.

February sales of all property types in Houston totaled 6,375, an increase of 3.1 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume grew 4.5 percent to $1.7 billion.

 

Lease Property Update

Rental properties drew less interest in February than a year earlier. Single-family home leases and townhome/condominium leases each fell 11.5 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was up 4.1 percent to $1,720 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums rose 2.2 percent to $1,515.

 

February Monthly Market Comparison

Most of Houston’s monthly housing market indicators reflected positivity in February, with single-family home sales, total property sales, average and median pricing and total dollar volume all up compared to February 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,912, up 11.1 percent versus last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, however, declined 2.2 percent to 33,939.

Single-family homes inventory shrank to a 3.2-months supply from 3.4 months a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 3.4-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES FEBRUARY 2017 FEBRUARY 2018 CHANGE
Total property sales 6,181 6,375 3.1%
Total dollar volume $1,639,814,909 $1,713,566,903 4.5%
Total active listings 34,707 33,939 -2.2%
Single-family home sales 4,997 5,260 5.3%
Single-family average sales price $280,813 $281,945 0.4%
Single-family median sales price $223,000 $226,200 1.4%
Single-family months inventory* 3.4 3.2 -0.2 months
Single-family pending sales 6,220 6,912 11.1%

* 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 rose in February, with 5,260 units sold throughout greater Houston. That is up 5.3 percent from a year earlier when sales volume totaled 4,997. After three consecutive months of declining sales volume, the luxury market – defined as homes priced from $750,000 and up – was flat in February.

The median price reached the highest level ever for a February in Houston, increasing 1.4 percent to $226,200. The average price rose a fractional 0.4 percent, which was sufficient to achieve a February record of $281,945.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, decreased slightly from 67 to 65 days. Inventory fell from a 3.4-months supply to a 3.2-months supply year-over-year, its lowest level since December 2017.

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

 

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 2.8 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 11.8 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 10.9 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 10.2 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 18.8 percent
  • $750,000 and above: unchanged

 

Single Family Average Home Price

 

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,356 in February, up 8.0 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 1.7 percent to $267,806 while the median sales price rose 5.7 percent to $214,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Sales of townhomes and condominiums tumbled 5.1 percent in February, with a total of 466 units sold. The average price rose 2.0 percent to $210,887 while the median price increased 4.6 percent to $170,000. Inventory declined slightly year-over-year from a 3.7-months supply to 3.6 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales

 

Houston Real Estate Highlights in February
  • Single-family home sales rose 5.3 percent year-over-year, with 5,260 units sold;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes decreased slightly from 67 days in February 2017 to 65 days this February;
  • Total property sales increased 3.1 percent with 6,375 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume climbed 4.5 percent to $1.7 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 1.4 percent to $226,200, which represents a February high;
  • The single-family home average price edged up 0.4 percent to a February high of $281,945;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory shrank year-over-year from a 3.4-months supply to 3.2 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 5.1 percent, with the average price up 2.0 percent to $210,887 and the median price up 4.6 percent to $170,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes fell 11.5 percent with the average rent up 4.1 percent to $1,720;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases dropped 11.5 percent with average rent up 2.2 percent to $1,515.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 37,000 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 https://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 37,000-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.

10 Common Title Problems Why You Need Title Insurance

February 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 

By HomeCareBuzz

Have you ever wondered why you need title insurance? Your home may be new to you, but every property has a history. A thorough title search can help uncover any title defects tied to your property. And, subject to the terms of the policy, your title insurance provides protection for you from title problems that may become known after you close your transaction.

Some of these common title issues are:

  1. Errors in public records – To err is human, but when it affects your homeownership rights, those mistakes can be devastating. Clerical or filing errors could affect the deed or survey of your property and cause undo financial strain in order to resolve them.
  2. Unknown liens – Prior owners of your property may not have been meticulous bookkeepers — or bill payers. And even though the former debt is not your own, banks or other financing companies can place liens on your property for unpaid debts even after you have closed on the sale. This is an especially worrisome issue with distressed properties.
  3. Illegal deeds – While the chain of title on your property may appear perfectly sound, it’s possible that a prior deed was made by an undocumented immigrant, a minor, a person of unsound mind, or one who is reported single but in actuality married. These instances may affect the enforceability of prior deeds, affecting prior (and possibly present) ownership.
  4. Missing heirs – When a person dies, the ownership of his home may fall to his heirs, or those namedwithin his will. However, those heirs are sometimes missing or unknown at the time of death. Other times, family members may contest the will for their own property rights. These scenarios — which can happen long after you have purchased the property — could affect your rights to the property.
  5. Forgeries – Unfortunately, we don’t live in a completely honest world. Sometimes forged or fabricated documents that affect property ownership are filed within public records, obscuring the rightful ownership of the property. Once these forgeries come to light, your rights to your home may be in jeopardy.
  6. Undiscovered encumbrances – When it comes to owning a home, three can be a crowd. At the time of purchase, you may not know that a third party holds a claim to all or part of your property — due to a former mortgage or lien, or non-financial claims, like restrictions or covenants limiting the use of your property.
  7. Unknown easements – You may own your new home and its surrounding land, but an unknown easement may prohibit you from using it as you’d like, or could allow government agencies, businesses, or other parties to access all or portions of your property. While usually non-financial issues, easements can still affect your right to enjoy your property.
  8. Boundary/survey disputes – You may have seen several surveys of your property prior to purchasing, however, other surveys may exist that show differing boundaries. Therefore, a neighbor or other party may be able to claim ownership to a portion of your property.
  9. Undiscovered will – When a property owner dies with no apparent will or heir, the state may sell his or her assets, including the home. When you purchase such a home, you assume your rights as owner. However, even years later, the deceased owner’s will may come to light and your rights to the property may be seriously jeopardized.
  10. False impersonation of previous owner – Common and similar names can make it possible to falsely “impersonate” a property owner. If you purchase a home that was once sold by a false owner, you can risk losing your legal claim to the property.

Play it Safe

These and other issues are often covered by an owner’s policy of title insurance. When you buy a home, make sure you’re protecting that investment with title insurance.

By HomeCareBuzz on June 5, 2017 / Home Buying, Home Selling, Home Services, Title

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