Decluttering For Selling

August 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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By Amy Thyr on May 1, 2018 / Cleaning/organizing, Home Selling, Staging

When you’re selling your house, potential buyers want to see everything. That means nowhere is safe from the eyes of a serious homebuyer. So when you declutter your home, it helps maximize every inch of space by minimizing overall clutter.

Decluttering isn’t about purging your belongings, but rather preparing your home for sale. Buyers want to visualize what they can do with the space. By removing distractions and maximizing usable space, you can show your house at its best.

To help, here’s a list of the most important places and items to declutter as you prepare to sell your home.

Tidy the Front Yard

Homebuyers often drive through potential neighborhoods before attending open houses or requesting showings. Therefore, it is important to keep your front yard tidy and make a positive first impression.

Create a Welcoming Entryway

Much like the front yard, the entryway sets the first impression of your home. Organize the space and give it a facelift to create an entrance that draws in potential buyers.

Showcase the Kitchen

Your kitchen is probably one of the most important places for potential buyers. Even if you have a tiny or outdated kitchen, decluttering can help show it at its best. Keep the countertops clean and clear with no small appliances, the refrigerator free of magnets and notes, and the pantry and cupboards tidy and organized. In addition, don’t forget to clean out the refrigerator, freezer, and under sink area.

Highlight the Living/Great Room

Next to the kitchen, the living room is often the showcase of the home, so keep it orderly and free of eyesores during showings. That means clearing out magazines, editing the bookshelves, and paring down throw pillows and table decor that can make the room feel cluttered and smaller. The right amount of furniture will also help a room look larger, so remove extra furniture or furniture in poor condition – either to the dumpster, or put it in storage while your home is on the market.

Make the Bathrooms Shine

Organize and declutter the countertops (no one wants to see your makeup and toothbrushes!), linen closets, and medicine cabinets. Clear out the excess items in the shower and under the sink. Since they’re inexpensive, buy a new rug and shower curtain to freshen the space.

Put Away Photos

De-personalize your home by putting all family photos out of sight. It’s easier for buyers to imaging the home as their own without the reminder that other people currently live there.

Clear the Hallways

Narrow hallways can make even a spacious home feel cramped. Remove as much visual clutter as possible including hanging hooks, photographs, and other artwork.

Organize Storage Rooms

Buyers will want to see inside your garage, closets, and backyard sheds. Make sure your storage rooms look spacious and organized by decluttering and opening up as much space as possible.

Minimize Tabletop Decor

You don’t want completely blank surfaces, but less is more when it comes to candles, artwork, and plants. Very few people have the same taste so it’s best to lean toward a neutral, minimal decor.

Clean the Laundry Room

The laundry room needs to make a good impression. Make sure all cleaning products are organized nicely and floors and appliances are spotless to create the kind of laundry space prospective buyers will want.

HOUSTON HOME SALES BREAK RECORDS IN JUNE

July 16, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Sales volume and pricing reach new highs

HOUSTON — (July 11, 2018) — Neither scorching temperatures nor vacation plans could stop homebuyers from pushing the Houston real estate market into record territory in June, as they generated the greatest one-month sales volume of all time and sent average and median prices to new highs. Single-family home rentals were also in strong demand.

According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), 8,518 single-family homes sold in June compared to the last record high of 8,367 homes exactly one year earlier. That represents a 1.8 percent increase.

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.6 percent to $245,000 and the average price climbed 4.3 percent to $316,463. Those prices broke records set just last month and are the result of strong activity in the luxury market – homes priced at $750,000 and above – which saw an 18.4 percent year-over-year jump in sales volume.

“If there were concerns about rising home prices in the Houston market, you wouldn’t know it from all the homebuying that took place in June,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “We continue to outperform last year’s record pace of home sales, but we’ll keep a close eye on inventory levels in the weeks ahead to ensure they are meeting demand.”

June sales of all property types broke the 10,000-mark for the first time in history, totaling 10,115. That represents an increase of 1.7 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume was up 6.6 percent, reaching more than $3 billion.

Lease Property Update

Activity among leased property staged a mixed performance in June. Single-family home rentals rose 4.7 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums fell 4.2 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 3.9 percent to $1,877 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums rose 6.7 percent to $1,662.

June Monthly Market Comparison

Indicators for the Houston real estate market’s June performance were mostly positive, with single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all up compared to June 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,396, a 10.2 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 3.9 percent to 40,198.

Single-family homes inventory recorded a 4.1-months supply in June, its highest level since last August when it reached a 4.3-months supply. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. also stands at a 4.1-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales rose 1.8 percent in June with 8,518 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 8,367 a year earlier. That is the greatest one-month sales volume of all time. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 2.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record pace. Prices reached historic highs in June. The median price increased 2.6 percent to $245,000. The average price rose 4.3 percent to $316,463.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, declined from 50 to 48 days. Inventory registered a 4.1-months supply which is its highest level since August 2017 and equal to the current national inventory level reported by NAR. Broken out by housing segment, June sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 29.0 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 23.7 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 16.1 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 18.0 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 13.5 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 18.4 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,186 in June, up 1.2 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 4.1 percent to $305,583 while the median sales price rose 4.4 percent to $235,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

After a 7.2 percent decline in May, sales of townhomes and condominiums turned around in June, increasing 4.9 percent with 709 units sold versus 676 a year earlier. The average price fell 1.7 percent to $211,050 while the median price dropped 4.1 percent to $163,000. Inventory was unchanged at a 4.2-months supply.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in June

  • Single-family home sales rose 1.8 percent year-over-year, with 8,518 units sold, the largest one-month sales volume of all time;
  • Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes declined from 50 to 48 days;
  • Total property sales reached record levels, rising 1.7 percent, with 10,115 units sold – the first time that number has broken the 10-thousand mark;
  • Total dollar volume increased 6.6 percent to slightly more than $3 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 2.6 percent to $245,000, reaching an all-time high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 4.3 percent to a record high of $316,463;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 4.1-months supply, the highest level since last August and equal to the national inventory level;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 4.9 percent, with the average price down 1.7 percent to $211,050 and the median price down 4.1 percent to $163,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes climbed 4.7 percent with the average rent up 3.9 percent to $1,877;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases fell 4.2 percent with the average rent up 6.7 percent to $1,662.

Don’t Be Fooled By These 3 Selling Myths

June 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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First-time sellers beware: there are lots of myths out there about the right way to sell your home. While your Texas REALTOR® is your first line of defense against making these mistakes, here are three common selling myths busted:

Myth: I’ll sell my home on my own and save money by not using a real estate agent.
Truth: Texas REALTORS® don’t work for free, but that’s because they provide valuable assistance through the home-selling process. A REALTOR® can help you reduce your risk of making a costly selling mistake and are plugged into your local housing market. If you DIY, that means you’ll have to spend time marketing your home adequately, be available to show the home, and navigate your way through a tricky transaction alone.

Myth: If I price my home higher than market value, I’m leaving room for negotiations.
Truth: Buyers have no idea this is your strategy and won’t understand why your price is too high. Many won’t even view your home if it’s priced too high, much less put in an offer. An improperly priced home is also more likely to sit on the market, making potential buyers think there’s something wrong with it. And when that happens, you’ll probably end up with lower offers than if you’d priced the property correctly from Day One.

Myth: I’ll mow the lawn and hide my stuff and my home will be ready to show.
Truth: Is a mowed lawn and hidden clutter all it takes to attract you to a home? It won’t work for potential buyers of your property, either. Your Texas REALTOR® might go through your home with you and identify areas that could use some sprucing up to make your home more appealing. Or, he or she might recommend working with a home stager to make the best impression. Be open to those suggestions … your Texas REALTOR® knows what makes a property sell quickly for top dollar.

What’s More Important Than Finding a Buyer for Your House?

June 13, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Selling your home may seem straightforward, but there are nuances to the process that you should consider before you list. Here are three things to think about before putting your home on the market.

Set the right price. Do you know how much to ask for your home? Making a pricing mistake can cost you a lot of money. But a Texas REALTOR® knows what’s going in your market. He or she can help you analyze the latest data and the specifics of your house to arrive at a price that maximizes your profit.

There’s more to consider than signing a contract. How should you handle the termination option? Is the buyer’s earnest money enough? What if the buyer wants to make buying your home contingent on selling her existing home? And if you get multiple offers, how do you respond to make sure you obtain the highest price possible and the most attractive overall deal?

Getting a buyer is not the same as selling your house. Accepting an offer is only the beginning. Real estate transactions can fall apart for a variety of reasons: financing difficulty, problems discovered during inspections, missed deadlines, contentious follow-up negotiations … even hurt feelings or cold feet. A Texas REALTOR® has experience dealing with potential pitfalls, though, and knows how to minimize problems on the way to a successful closing.

Home affordability – how to know how much home you can buy?

April 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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By HomeCareBuzz

First-time homebuyer? Upsizing? Buying a second or vacation home? Downsizing? No matter your home buying aspiration, the first question you’ll always need to ask yourself is, how can I buy the home I want? Using this home affordability checklist can help answer that question. When you take the time to find out how much home you can really afford you’ll find it’s easier to make the many subsequent decisions on the when and where to buy your dream home. Check off these steps first and you’ll be ready to take the big leap.

What’s your total annual income?

Your first step to check off on the home affordability list is to accurately determine what your annual income was for the previous full year. To do that you find the sum total of your gross income, before taxes or other deductions, and you add to that any potential future bonuses you might expect to receive and/or any other income sources you may have. If you are buying the house with a spouse or partner, for example as joints tenants, or with another person, perhaps as tenants in common, add their annual income as well to determine sum total annual income.

Why getting prequalified matters?

Why should you determine your total annual income? Because when you’re ready to shop for a home it’s best to get prequalified. Annual income affects how much home you can qualify for– a mortgage lender looks at your complete financial picture and qualifies you for a mortgage based on that picture. In addition to annual income, a lender will look at the savings you have and what debts you owe. You are prequalified or preapproved for a loan based on all of those numbers.

What’s your down payment?

In this step determine the total amount of money you can put down on a home purchase. Home affordability should not lead to home impoverishment, so don’t commit all of your funds to your down payment. You need to protect your financial health from unforeseen hits to your income during and after the home buying process. Lenders typically want a 20% down payment to buy a home, but if that’s a high hurdle where you are looking to buy, shop around. Many lenders have options and can work with you to find the right loan, depending on your credit score and other factors. more…

By Tara Walsh on February 9, 2018 / Home Buying, Home Services, Home Warranty, Mortgage

HURRICANE HARVEY CAN’T STOP HOUSTON’S HOUSING MARKET FROM REACHING RECORD TERRITORY IN 2017

January 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Houston real estate resists Mother Nature to complete its strongest year ever

HOUSTON — (January 10, 2018) Despite the devastating assault that Hurricane Harvey waged on the greater Houston area last summer – from which many property owners are still recovering – the Houston real estate market set new records by the time the sun set on 2017. Single-family home sales for the full year rose 3.5 percent compared to 2016, the previous record year. However, as 2018 gets underway, the supply of housing remains constrained. Inventory had begun to reach more balanced levels when Harvey’s widespread flooding sent affected residents scrambling for whatever undamaged rental and sales homes were available to provide safe shelter for themselves and their families.

According to the latest report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of all property types in 2017 totaled 94,726 units, a 3.5-percent increase over 2016’s volume, which was 91,530. Total dollar volume for single-family homes sold in 2017 rose 6.5 percent to $23 billion.

“No one could ever have imagined 2017 turning out to be a record-setting year for the Houston real estate market, which had weathered the effects of the energy slump only to have Harvey strike such a devastating blow,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JP Morgan Chase. “We know that many are still working tirelessly to rebuild their lives after Harvey, but overall, this clearly illustrates the incredible resilience of the people and the economy of Houston, Texas. We also know that some neighborhoods are performing better than others, so it’s always advisable to consult a Realtor when thinking about buying or selling a home.”

December single-family home sales rose 4.1 percent to 6,875 versus December 2016. The strongest sales performance took place among homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000. Total property sales for the month climbed 3.5 percent to 8,125.

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 1.7 percent to $230,000. That marks the highest median price ever for a December. The average price declined 0.6 percent to $292,174.

 

2017 Annual Market Comparison

As 2017 began, the high end of the Houston real estate market was showing welcomed signs of recovery from the effects of the weakened energy sector, and inventory levels in all housing categories finally began to rise. Strong employment numbers translated to an influx of home buyers and renters to the Houston area from across the country and around the world. However, Harvey’s late August rampage interrupted hiring and forced those whose homes and apartments were damaged or destroyed to seek immediate housing anywhere they could, causing inventory to shrink.

Fortunately, the setbacks resulting from this historic weather catastrophe were much shorter-lived than anticipated. By the end of September – just four weeks after Harvey hit – the “Houston Strong” housing market saw home sales rebound and the greatest rental activity of all time. The positive momentum continued through the final months of 2017.

By the end of December, a record 79,117 single-family homes had sold. That represents an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous record of 76,450 in 2016.

On a year-to-date basis, the average price rose 2.9 percent to $291,340 while the median price increased 3.8 percent to $229,900. Total dollar volume for full-year 2017 jumped 6.5 percent to $23 billion.

The strongest one-month sales volume of 2017 was recorded in June with 8,362 single-family homes sold. By contrast, the lightest one-month sales volume took place in January with 4,104 sales.

Months of inventory began the year at a 3.3-months supply, and while it grew to a 4.3-months supply just before Harvey struck the region, it ended 2017 at a 3.2-months supply. Months of inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity.

CATEGORIES FULL-YEAR 2016 FULL-YEAR 2017 CHANGE
Single-family home sales 76,450 79,117 3.5%
Total property sales 91,530 94,726 3.5%
Total dollar volume $21,645,218,533 $23,049,934,248 6.5%
Single-family average sales price $283,133 $291,340 2.9%
Single-family median sales price $221,500 $229,900 3.8%

* 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.

 

December Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market registered largely positive measurements in December, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and median pricing all up compared to December 2016.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 5,413, an increase of 24.0 percent versus 2016. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, declined 2.2 percent from December 2016 to 33,432.

Single-family homes inventory shrank from a 3.4-months supply to 3.2 months. 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 DECEMBER 2016 DECEMBER 2017 CHANGE
Total property sales 7,850 8,125 3.5%
Total dollar volume $2,209,007,615 $2,271,587,746 2.8%
Total active listings 34,199 33,432 -2.2%
Single-family home sales 6,606 6,875 4.1%
Single-family average sales price $294,035 $292,174 -0.6%
Single-family median sales price $226,050 $230,000 1.7%
Single-family months inventory* 3.4 3.2 -0.2 mos.
Single-family pending sales** 4,367 5,413 24.0%

* 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 6,875, up 4.1 percent from December 2016. The median price rose 1.7 percent to a December high of $230,000. The average price declined a fractional 0.6 percent to $292,174. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was unchanged at 62.

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

 

  • $1 – $99,999: increased 5.7 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 7.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 4.5 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 9.1 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: unchanged
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 11.2 percent

 

Single Family Average Home Price

 

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,460 in December, up 3.7 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 2.6 percent to $276,738 while the median sales price increased 1.2 percent to $211,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales increased 3.2 percent in December, with 552 units selling versus 535 a year earlier. The average price fell 5.5 percent to $199,197 and the median price dropped 9.3 percent to $158,250. Inventory went from a 3.4-months supply to 3.3 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales

 

Lease Property Update

Houston’s lease market had a mixed performance in December. Single-family home leases fell 3.6 percent and townhome/condominium leases rose 7.3 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 3.3 percent to $1,745, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums rose 2.4 percent to $1,532.

Houston Real Estate Highlights for December and Full-Year 2017
  • Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, 2017 proved to be a record year for Houston home sales with 79,117 single-family homes sold versus 76,450 in 2016, the last record-setting year. That represents an increase of 3.5 percent;
  • Total dollar volume for single-family homes in 2017 rose 6.5 percent to $23 billion;
  • December single-family home sales climbed 4.1 percent year-over-year with 6,875 units sold;
  • Total December property sales increased 3.5 percent to 8,125 units;
  • Total dollar volume for December increased 2.8 percent to $2.3 billion;
  • At $230,000, the single-family home median price rose 1.7 percent to a December high;
  • The single-family home average price declined 0.6 percent to $292,174;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory declined slightly to a 3.2-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 3.2 percent, with the average price down 5.5 percent to $199,197 and the median price down 9.3 percent to $158,250;
  • Leases of single-family homes fell 3.6 percent with average rent up 3.3 percent to $1,745;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums climbed 7.3 percent with average rent up 2.4 percent to $1,532.
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 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 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.

Fall Season Checklist

November 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Step on crunchy leaves

  • Clean downspouts and gutters
  • Dust ceiling fans and ceiling light fixtures
  • Wash the windows

Eat something pumpkin flavored

  • Turn off exterior faucets
  • Remove leaves around your outside HVAC unit

Bring out your warm clothes

  • Store outdoor furniture and cushions
  • Inspect chimney and roof for cracks and damage
  • Cut back perennial plants and mulch around base

Make a batch of leaf-shaped cookies

  • Remove hoses from spigots and drain water
  • Test snow blower and service if necessary
  • Stow the lawn mower

Bake a dessert using apples

  • Schedule a furnace tune-up
  • Test smoke and carbon mon oxide detectors
  • Check windows and doors for weather-tightness

Spot a ghost for Halloween

  • Clean out dryer vent
  • Drain sediment from hot water heater
  • Rotate/flip mattresses

Fill the house with fall-scented candles

  • Wash bedskirts/covers/pads
  • Wash curtains/blinds
  • Begin to organize tax-related documents

Go for a walk in the fall colors

  • Clean oven
  • Wash shower curtains/liners

Carve a pumpkin

  • Dust and scrub porch
  • Clean out refrigerator

Drink apple cider

  • Clean out entryway closet
  • Tidy up and organize pantry and cabinets

Get Ready for a Home Showing

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

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.

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