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
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REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

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

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

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

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 A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.

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

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

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

HOUSTON HOME SALES BLOSSOM IN MARCH

April 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Sales volume, pricing and inventory maintain their positive trajectory; rental properties experience a surge

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

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

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

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

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

March Monthly Market Comparison

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

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

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

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

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.

Single-Family Homes Update
Single Family

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

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

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

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

Townhouse/Condominium Update

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

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

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

Houston Real Estate Highlights in March
  • Single-family home sales rose 11.7 percent year-over-year with 7.013 units sold, the third consecutive monthly gain of 2017;
  • Total property sales jumped 10.5 percent with 8,495 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume soared 15.7 percent to $2.3 billion;
  • At $227,530, the single-family home median price rose 5.8 percent to a March high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 4.6 percent to $284,279, which was also the highest level for a March;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory grew to a 3.8-months supply, matching the national level reported by NAR;
  • Townhome/condominium sales increased 7.4 percent, with the average price up 3.4 percent to $200,556 and the median price unchanged at $154,250;
  • Leases of single-family homes rocketed 36.6 percent with average rent down 4.9 percent to $1,647;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases surged 37.8 percent with average rent down 5.6 percent to $1,487.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com.The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

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

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

How to Make an Offer on a Home

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

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

How Much Should You Offer?

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

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

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

negotiateNegotiate and Write Counteroffers

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

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

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

Make an Earnest Money Deposit

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little things that make a big impression on buyers

March 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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02/17/2017 | Author: Ward Lowe

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOUSTON HOME SALES ACHIEVE RECORD VOLUME IN 2016

January 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Houston real estate conquers energy slump to complete its strongest year ever

HOUSTON — (January 11, 2017) Despite the slowdown that economists predicted as falling oil prices and resulting energy industry layoffs carried over from 2015, the Houston housing market held steady throughout 2016 and gained momentum in the final months of the year to set a new record for home sales. Homes priced at $500,000 and up, which experienced declining sales from August 2015 through October 2016 as a result of the energy slump, achieved an impressive turnaround with double-digit sales increases in November and December.

Full-year 2016 single family home sales totaled 76,449, according to the latest report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). That represents an increase of 3.0 percent from 2015 and is 1.3 percent above the previous record of 75,470 homes sold in 2014. Total dollar volume for properties sold in 2016 rose 4.2 percent to $24.5 billion.

To the delight of home buyers, inventory levels grew during the first half of 2016, peaking at a 4.0-months supply in July. However, with the increased pace of home sales, inventory levels retreated, ending the year exactly where they began – at a 3.3-months supply.

“We could not be happier with the Houston housing market’s 2016 performance,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties. “The year began on a cautionary note because of energy-related layoffs that did affect our higher-priced housing. But what we saw by the end of 2016 is the reflection of a truly diversified Houston economy that continues to benefit from hiring in other industries and a steady influx of consumers from markets across the country and around the world.”

December single-family home sales rose 5.3 percent to 6,628 versus December 2015. As with the luxury market, homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 enjoyed double-digit year-over-year sales gains in December. Total property sales for the month climbed 5.1 percent to 7,868.

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.7 percent to $225,903 That marks the highest median price ever for a December. The average price increased 4.3 percent to $294,512, which also represents a December high.

 

2016 Annual Market Comparison

When 2015 segued to 2016, home sales had been on the decline as plummeting oil prices and energy layoffs sparked jitters throughout the Houston economy. But the housing market demonstrated resiliency, with sales up during all but three months of 2016. By the end of December, a record 76,449 single-family homes had sold. That represents an increase of 3.0 percent from 2015 and is up 1.3 percent from the previous record of 75,470 home sales set in 2014.

On a year-to-date basis, the average price rose 1.1 percent to $283,133 while the median price increased 4.5 percent to $221,500. Total dollar volume for full-year 2016 rose 4.2 percent to $24.5 billion

The greatest one-month sales volume of 2016 was recorded in August, with 7,920 single-family home sold. By contrast, the lightest one-month sales volume took place in January with 4,011 sales.

Months inventory began the year at a 3.3-months supply, and while it grew to a 4.0-months supply over the summer, it ended 2016 back at a 3.3-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 2015 FULL-YEAR 2016 CHANGE
Single-family home sales 74,174 76,449 3.0%
Total property sales 89,296 91,520 2.2%
Total dollar volume $23,559,111,514 $24,546,840,733 4.2%
Single-family average sales price $280,290 $283,133 1.1%
Single-family median sales price $212,000 $221,000 4.5%

* 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 recorded across-the-board gains in December, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing all up compared to December 2015.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 4,746, an increase of 11.7 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 7.1 percent from December 2015 to 33,802.

Single-family homes inventory grew fractionally from a 3.2-months supply to 3.3 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.0-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES DECEMBER 2015 DECEMBER 2016 CHANGE
Total property sales 7,483 7,868 5.1%
Total dollar volume $2,011,469,375 $2,214,420,498 10.1%
Total active listings 31,550 33,802 7.1%
Total pending sales 6,297 6,628 5.3%
Single-family home sales $282,246 $294,512 4.3%
Single-family average sales price $219,900 $225,903 2.7%
Single-family months inventory* 3.2 3.3 0.1 mos.
Single-family pending sales** 4,250 4,746 11.7%

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.
** Effective May 2015, in an effort to be consistent with industry standards, the Houston MLS is now including all categories of pending sales in its reporting. Previously, the Houston MLS did not include “option pending” and “pending continue to show” listings in its reporting of pending sales. The new methodology is now all-inclusive for listings that went under contract during the month.

 

Single-Family Homes Update

 

Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 6,628, up 5.3 percent from December 2015. The median price rose 2.7 percent to a December high of $225,903. The average price climbed 4.3 percent to $294,512, also a record high for a December. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up to 62 days versus 60 last year.

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

 

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 16.6 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 8.0 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 19.5 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 17.5 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 22.7 percent

 

Single Family Average Home Price

 

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,345 in December, up 6.4 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.4 percent to $270,731 while the median sales price jumped 7.2 percent to $209,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales declined 8.1 in December, with 531 units selling versus 578 a year earlier. The average price rose 3.7 percent to $208,905, while the median price increased 5.8 percent to $169,250. Inventory expanded from a 2.9-months supply to 3.4 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales

 

Lease Property Update

The lease market had a strong December. Single-family home leases rose 5.2 percent and townhome/condominium leases jumped 9.5 percent. The average rent for single-family homes dropped slightly to $1,690, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums edged up to $1,497.

Houston Real Estate Highlights for December and Full-Year 2016
  • 2016 was a record year for Houston home sales with 76,449 single-family homes sold versus 74,174 in 2015. That represents an increase of 3.0 percent. It is also 1.3 percent above the previous record sales volume of 75,470 set in 2014;
  • Total dollar volume for 2016 rose 4.2 percent to $24.5 billion;
  • December single-family home sales climbed 5.3 percent with 6,628 units sold;
  • Total December property sales increased 5.1 percent to 7,868 units;
  • Total dollar volume for December increased 10.1 percent to $2.2 billion;
  • At $225,903, the single-family home median price rose 2.7 percent to a December high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 4.3 percent to $294,512, which was also the highest level for a December;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory edged up to a 3.3-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 8.1 percent, with the average price up 3.7 percent to $208,905 and the median price up 5.8 percent to $169,250;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 5.2 percent with average rent down slightly to $1,690;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums climbed 9.5 percent with average rent up slightly to $1,497.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com. The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

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

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

THE HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET ENTERS AUTUMN ON STEADY FOOTING

November 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Home sales volume keeps pace with 2015 while pricing achieves October highs

HOUSTON — (November 9, 2016) Despite continued strains within the energy industry and jitters surrounding the outcome of the presidential election, the Houston housing market held steady for a second straight month. Home sales in October were statistically unchanged compared to October 2015. Homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 experienced positive sales volume while the market’s high and low ends saw declines, mirroring September’s trends. Both median and average price reached record highs for an October.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), a total of 5,916 single-family homes sold in October compared to 5,893 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are up 1.2 percent compared to this point in 2015. Inventory levels grew slightly from a 3.5-months supply to 3.8 months.

“The Houston housing market continues to demonstrate its strength by holding steady in the midst of a weakened energy sector and uncertainty about the presidential election,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “Even without those influences, autumn traditionally marks a period of slower sales, so we are extremely pleased to see the market keeping pace with last year’s record levels.”

The single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 6.3 percent to $218,000 That marks the highest median price ever for an October. The average price increased 2.2 percent to $277,904, which also represents an October high.

October sales of all property types in Houston totaled 7,120, up a fractional 0.7 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in October rose 1.4 percent to $1.9 billion.

October Monthly Market Comparison

Houston’s monthly housing market indicators yielded positive readings compared to October 2015. On a year-over-year basis, single-family homes sales were statistically unchanged, total property sales rose fractionally, total dollar volume grew, and both the median and average home prices climbed to record October highs.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,589, an increase of 16.4 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties rose 9.2 percent from October 2015 to 37,111.

Single-family homes inventory edged up from a 3.5-months supply to 3.8 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.5-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES OCTOBER 2015 OCTOBER 2016 CHANGE
Total property sales 7,071 7,120 0.7%
Total dollar volume $1,837,260,865 $1,863,107,351 1.4%
Total active listings 33,993 37,111 9.2%
Single-family home sales 5,893 5,916 0.4%
Single-family average sales price $271,964 $277,904 2.2%
Single-family median sales price $205,000 $218,000 6.3%
Single-family months inventory* 3.5 3.8 0.3 mos.
Single-family pending sales 5,660 6,589 16.4%

* 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 5,916, up 0.4 percent (considered statistically flat) from October 2015. The median price rose 6.3 percent to an October high of $218,000. The average price climbed 2.2 percent to $277,904, also a record high for an October. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up to 55 days versus 53 last year.

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

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 24.7 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 23.7 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 12.0 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 9.5 percent
  • $500,000 and above: decreased 2.0 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,963 in October, down 1.4 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 2.6 percent to $259,534 while the median sales price increased 7.7 percent to $202,800.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales were flat in October, with 517 units selling in versus 515 a year earlier. The average price was unchanged at $197,558, while the median price jumped 4.7 percent to $157,000. Inventory grew from a 3.3-months supply to 3.7 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

TThe lease market cooled in October. Single-family home leases declined 1.0 percent, while townhome/condominium leases dropped 2.3 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was up 1.2 percent to $1,728, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums was down 2.1 percent to $1,488.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in October
  • Single-family home sales were statistically unchanged with 5,916 units sold;
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales were up 1.2 percent;
  • Total property sales rose 0.7 percent to 7,120 units;
  • Total dollar volume increased 1.4 percent to $1.9 billion;
  • At $218,000, the single-family home median price rose 6.3 percent to an October high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 2.2 percent to $277,904, which was also the highest level for an October;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.8-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales were flat, with the average price unchanged at $197,558 and the median price up 4.7 percent to $157,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes declined 1.0 percent with average rent down slightly to $1,728;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums fell 2.3 percent with average rent down 2.1 percent to $1,488.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 32,000 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 32,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

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