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HAR News Release – Nov 2013

HOUSTON   (November 19, 2013)   Twenty-nine consecutive months and counting. That’s how long Houston home sales have held to positive territory. Home buyers sent housing inventory levels down to 3.1 months in October compared to 4.4 months one year earlier, but they also contributed to a record total dollar volume.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS®, home sales climbed 13.5 percent year-over-year, with contracts closing on 6,020 single-family homes. That is the lowest one-month sales volume since March.

The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 8.9 percent to $177,500. The average price increased 7.9 percent year-over-year to $239,773. Both figures represent the highest prices for an October in Houston.

October brought gains to all housing segments except the under-$80,000 market. Homes selling from $150,000 through $500,000 scored the greatest increase in sales volume.
“Home sales have shown no sign of letting up, which illustrates the strength of the Houston economy and its continued job growth,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Coldwell Banker, United REALTORS®. “Unfortunately, the home buying frenzy has also sparked a recent wave of scams in which for-sale properties are falsely advertised in online listings as rentals with scam artists trying to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. HAR urges consumers to always work with a REALTOR® and remember that a deal that sounds too good to be true most likely is too good to be true.”

Foreclosure property sales reported in the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fell 46.9 percent compared to October 2012. Foreclosures currently make up just 7.5 percent of all property sales, down from 19.6 percent at the beginning of the year. The median price of foreclosures edged up 0.9 percent to $85,706.

October sales of all property types in totaled 7,322, a 14.7 percent increase over the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold rose 26.7 percent to $1.7 billion versus $1.3 billion a year earlier. At $17.7 billion total dollar volume for the year, 2013 has already surpassed 2007’s record-setting total dollar volume of $16.6 billion.

October Monthly  Market Comparison

Houston’s real estate market experienced gains in all categories in October when comparing sales to October 2012. Total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing all rose on a year-over-year basis,

Month-end pending sales totaled 3,995, a 3.7 percent gain over last year and a strong indicator of another month of positive sales when the November numbers are tallied. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of October dropped 16.5 percent to 31,638.

Houston’s inventory of available homes dipped from 3.2 months in September to 3.1 months in October, down from 4.4 months of inventory one year ago. The inventory of single-family homes across the United States currently stands at 5.0 months, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

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