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.

An accepted contract is just the beginning

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

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

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

An option to back out

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

A closer look at the property

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

Financing considerations

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

The list goes on

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

You have a valuable resource

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

Little things that make a big impression on buyers

March 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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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.

THE HOUSTON REAL ESTATE MARKET LAUNCHES 2017 IN POSITIVE TERRITORY

February 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Sales volume and pricing were up in January; inventory grew

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

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

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

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

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

January Monthly Market Comparison

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

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

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

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

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

Single-Family Homes Update
Single Family

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

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

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

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

Townhouse/Condominium Update

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

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

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

Houston Real Estate Highlights in January
  • Single-family home sales rose 1.7 percent with 4,080 units sold;
  • Total property sales edged up 0.9 percent with 4,997 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 6.2 percent to $1.3 billion;
  • At $210,000, the single-family home median price rose 4.0 percent to a January high;
  • The single-family home average price climbed 5.3 percent to $275,696, which was also the highest level for a January;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.5-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales fell 5.4 percent, with the average price up 1.4 percent to $187,178 and the median price down 1.1 percent to $138,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 5.7 percent with average rent down slightly to $1,718;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums increased 6.0 percent with average rent down 4.7 percent to $1,497.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 36,000 REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com. The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

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

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

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.

HOUSTON HOME SALES SURGE IN NOVEMBER

December 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Real Estate 
MLS Report for November 2016

Luxury market enjoys its first sales increase in over a year

HOUSTON — (December 14, 2016) The Houston housing market registered healthy gains in November thanks to more plentiful inventory, with single-family home sales surging nearly 23 percent compared to one year earlier when oil jitters sent sales tumbling. Sales among luxury homes (priced at $500,000 and above) —the segment most constrained by the ailing energy industry— leapt almost 33 percent. That represents the first increase that segment has seen since August 2015. For perspective, the increases place the market about 10 percent ahead of 2014 sales volumes.

Homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 enjoyed continued strong homebuyer demand. In addition, both median and average price reached record highs for a November.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), a total of 5,706 single-family homes sold in November compared to 4,651 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are up 2.7 percent compared to this point in 2015. Inventory levels grew slightly from a 3.4-months supply to 3.6 months.

“It looks like the Houston real estate market is sprinting toward the 2016 finish line, based on the solid numbers in November’s report,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “The market has shown tremendous resilience throughout the year in the midst of a struggling energy sector, and we are especially encouraged by the strong sales volume that the luxury home segment registered last month.”

The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 8.3 percent to $222,000 That marks the highest median price ever for a November. The average price increased 7.2 percent to $281,671, which also represents a November high.

November sales of all property types in Houston totaled 6,890, up 21.4 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in November shot up 28.7 percent to $1.8 billion.

November Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market saw across-the-board gains in November, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing all up compared to November 2015.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 5,799, an increase of 15.5 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 8.6 percent from November 2015 to 36,151.

Single-family homes inventory grew from a 3.4-months supply to 3.6 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.3-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES NOVEMBER 2015 NOVEMBER 2016 CHANGE
Total property sales 5,676 6,890 21.4%
Total dollar volume $1,420,028,031 $1,827,990,565 28.7%
Total active listings 33,298 36,151 8.6%
Single-family home sales 4,651 5,706 22.7%
Single-family average sales price $262,811 $281,671 7.2%
Single-family median sales price $205,000 $222,000 8.3%
Single-family months inventory* 3.4 3.6 0.2 mos.
Single-family pending sales 5,019 5,799 15.5%

* 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.

Single-Family Homes Update
Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 5,706, up 22.7 percent from November 2015. That is the greatest year-over-year sales volume increase for a single month since July 2013. The median price rose 8.3 percent to a November high of $222,000. The average price climbed 7.2 percent to $281,671, also a record high for a November. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up to 57 days versus 55 last year.

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

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 19.8 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 7.2 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 29.1 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 47.4 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 32.5 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,741 in November, up 23.3 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 9.6 percent to $264,563 while the median sales price jumped 10.8 percent to $205,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales were also up in November, with 502 units selling in versus 438 a year earlier. That represents a 14.6 percent increase. The average price rose 12.6 percent to $208,388, while the median price surged 22.0 percent to $163,000. Inventory expanded from a 3.1-months supply to 3.7 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

The lease market had a mixed performance in November. Single-family home leases rose 3.2 percent, while townhome/condominium leases declined 2.4 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was up 1.0 percent to $1,724, while the average rent for townhomes/condominiums was down 2.6 percent to $1,498.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in November
  • Single-family home sales soared 22.7 percent with 5,706 units sold—representing the greatest year-over-year sales volume increase for a single month since July 2013;
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales were up 2.7 percent;
  • Total property sales jumped 21.4 percent to 6,890 units;
  • Total dollar volume increased 28.7 percent to $1.8 billion;
  • At $222,000, the single-family home median price rose 8.3 percent to a November high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 7.2 percent to $281,671, which was also the highest level for a November;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.6-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales increased 14.6 percent, with the average price up 12.6 percent to $208,388 and the median price up 22.0 percent to $163,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes rose 3.2 percent with average rent up slightly to $1,724;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums fell 2.4 percent with average rent down 2.6 percent to $1,498.
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.

Quick Home Fixes on Daylight Saving’s Time

October 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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“Fall Back” time is coming. When it arrives on November 6th, we, in theory, gain an extra hour of sleep. If you’d like to spend that extra hour doing something other than sleeping, here are seven quick and easy home improvements, each of which you can complete in an hour to instantly add a fresher look to a home. Whether you’re a real estate agent or a home seller, these tips could just help sell a home more quickly. Don’t let that extra hour go to waste!

  • Paint the front door. Some homeowners actually paint their front door seasonally, but you don’t have to go to that extreme. In one hour you could tape off the external-facing side of a front door and add a fresh coat of paint. Adding an eye-catching color can help draw potential buyers to that front door.
  • Add new curtains. New window treatments, particularly curtains, always improve the look of a home’s interior. If you already have the hardware in the right place, you could put up new curtains in every room inside of an hour.
  • Rent a power washer. Using a power washer on an entryway, pathway, or driveway can immediately give the area in front of a home a newer, cleaner look.
  • Add plants. New seasonal plants or flowers placed in front window boxes and porch planters provide a splash of color and a sense of welcome.
  • Install a new faucet. Nothing brightens a kitchen or bathroom sink quite like a shiny new faucet. You can upgrade the hardware for a sink in an hour.
  • Trim a tree. A fresh haircut to trees in the front of a home can instantly spruce up a property. With a pair of loppers and a ladder, you can even out overhanging branches to give them a clean-cut look.
  • Touch up mulching. Applying a new layer of mulch over the old immediately improves the look of a yard at little cost.

Source

Thank you to ThisOldHouse for the hour of inspiration.

HOUSTON HOME SALES SEE AUGUST REBOUND

September 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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A healthier supply of inventory helps meet strong buyer demand; sales volume reaches historic high

HOUSTON — (September 14, 2016) After a down month in July, Houston single-family home sales roared back in August with an 8.2 percent year-over-year increase that was fueled by a growing supply of inventory for buyers. August also marked the highest one-month single-family home sales volume of all time, and the first time in a year that homes priced above $500,000 experienced a sales gain. In fact, only homes priced below $150,000 saw sales volume decline.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), a total of 7,914 homes sold in August. That is the greatest one-month volume since July 2015, when 7,898 homes sold. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are up 1.5 percent compared to this point in 2015.

Inventory levels rose from a 3.5-months supply to 4.0 months.

“August proved to be a strong month for the Houston real estate market, which was welcome news after the slowdown in July,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “It’s possible that summer vacations meant consumers put home buying on the back burner in July, but whatever the cause, home sales appear to once again be moving at a healthy pace.”

The single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 4.2 percent to $225,000. That is the highest median price ever for an August. The average price climbed 2.4 percent to $289,519, which is also an August record high.

August sales of all property types in Houston totaled 9,319, up 7.1 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in August surged 10.6 percent to $2.6 billion

August Monthly Market Comparison

Houston’s monthly housing market indicators were positive across the board compared to August 2015. On a year-over-year basis, single-family homes sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose while both the median and average home prices climbed to record August highs. August also marked the greatest one-month single-family home sales volume of all time.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 7,359, an increase of 10.1 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, at the end of August rose 12.4 percent from August 2015 to 38,056.

Single-family homes inventory jumped from a 3.5-months supply to 4.0 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.7-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

CATEGORIES AUGUST 2015 AUGUST 2016 CHANGE
Total property sales 8,699 9,319 7.1%
Total dollar volume $2,321,458,169 $2,567,194,524 10.6%
Total active listings 33,856 38,056 12.4%
Single-family home sales 7,314 7,914 8.2%
Single-family average sales price $282,613 $289,519 2.4%
Single-family median sales price $216,000 $225,000 4.2%
Single-family months inventory* 3.5 4.0 14.7%
Single-family pending sales** 6,685 7,359 10.1%

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

Single-Family Homes Update
Single Family

Single-family home sales totaled 7,914, up 8.2 percent from August 2015. That represents the highest one-month sales volume of all time.

The median price rose 4.2 percent to an August high of $225,000. The average price climbed 2.4 percent to $289,519, also a record high for an August. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up to 50 days versus 45 last year.

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

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 32.5 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 10.0 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 13.5 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 12.7 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 5.8 percent
Single Family Average Home Price

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 6,815 in August, up 8.2 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 3.4 percent to $272,720 while the median sales price increased 5.0 percent to $210,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales increased 5.1 percent with 656 units selling in August versus 624 a year earlier. The average price rose 1.0 percent to $202,669 while the median price climbed 4.0 percent to $156,000. Inventory grew from a 3.1-months supply to 3.7 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales
Lease Property Update

The lease market had a mixed performance in August. Single-family home leases declined 2.2 percent, while townhome/condominium leases rose 5.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was down 1.2 percent at $1,878 and the average rent for townhomes/condominiums fell 2.6 percent to $1,604.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in August
  • Single-family home sales rose 8.2 percent with a total of 7,914 units sold —the greatest one-month sales volume of all time
  • On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are up 1.5 percent;
  • Total property sales rose 7.1 percent to 9,319 units;
  • Total dollar volume shot up 10.6 percent to $2.6 billion;
  • At $225,000, the single-family home median price rose 4.2 percent to an August high;
  • The single-family home average price increased 2.4 percent to $289,519, which was also the highest level for an August;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 4.0-months supply;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 5.1 percent, with the average price up 1.0 percent to $202,669 and the median price up 4.0 percent to $156,000;
  • Leases of single-family homes were down 2.2 percent with average rent down slightly to $1,878;
  • Leases of townhomes/condominiums rose 5.7 percent with average rent down 2.6 percent to $1,604.
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.

Buying and Selling “Off Season”

August 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

There are many variables that determine what is considered the peak buying and selling season in real estate. It varies by geographical region and is affected as well by the economy. Generally speaking, for home sellers, many real estate experts have traditionally considered the “peak season” to be around late January to early May. Reasons varied from buyers wanting to close late spring or early summer when school ends, moving during good weather, and not wanting to interfere with summer breaks and vacations. The negative impact on buyers during this peak time can be more competition resulting in higher prices and lower inventory.

Times have changed and there ARE benefits to buying and selling “off-season”. Many of today’s buyers AREN’T shopping around school schedules, many are single first-time buyer’s, couples with grown children that are ready to downsize, job relocations, as well as investors in income property. Today’s buyers are savvy and use the Internet to preview listings year round, which means real estate can be very active outside the peak months. A serious buyer is always looking. With fewer houses on the market in the fall and winter, sellers have less competition. Also, selling in fall or winter could allow the seller to take advantage of the coming new spring inventory for buying a new home.

Additional off-season benefits for buyers and sellers can be a faster turnaround for services such as lenders, appraisers, settlement attorneys and inspectors. In many areas, the weather is better and scheduling is easier for showings, as fewer buyers are coming through.

Once summer ends, many sellers whose listings have stayed on the market will be more desperate for offers. They may have purchased a home contingent on selling their old home. If you are a buyer and are having difficulty finding the right house, ask your agent to look at listings that were recently taken off the market and request a showing if the owner is still motivated to sell.

To attract serious buyers, it is important to price your home to sell. Consider adding a home warranty to add value to your listing and give potential buyers confidence. Staging a home with the colors of the fall and winter season can create a warm and welcoming feel. Keep it simple, clean and uncluttered. When selling a home, you need to make the best first impression, no matter what the season!

Article from homecarebuzz.com

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