Housing Market: Supply, Supply, Supply

50% of the basic economic equation is supply. Too little of it, prices climb, too much, they fall. In the real estate market 6mos is considered “equilibrium” where supply meets demand.  When you have too little supply and still increasing demand, you can just about guarantee higher prices.  The Houston housing market is seeing this very phenomena currently and has been for some time. April 2015 was a record month for the Houston housing market which beat April 2014, which beat April 2013…etc…etc  (see a trend?)

With a current supply of <3mos (this is despite builders racing to bring more homes to market) and demand increasing (total sales up, single family sales up, condo sales up and pending sales up 39%) there are no price declines on the horizon. Now, inventory did rocket up (sarcasm) from 2.7 to 2.9mos and to be honest that is a good thing, the market desperately needs more homes.

As for our $HHC , add these dynamics to the equation and then add in 10,000 $XOM employees who are going to start moving to the new campus a stones throw from the Woodlands and connected to Bridgland (HHC’s MPC’s) by the new Grand Parkway. Also add in scores of other businesses who are relocating to the area to be closer to $XOM. That adds even more demand to the equation for northwest Houston.

Builders are trying to accommodate demand so do not be surprised to see inventory continue to climb. As long as sales are climbing with it, all is well. I’ve long said that I expect the housing market in Houston to recede from 2014’s breakneck pace and at some point it may happen. Oil ($USO) went from $100 to $40 and Houston still has a very significant oil complex. To date housing there has barely acknowledged oil’s fall and now has oil has rebounded to the $60 range………maybe the Houston economy is more diversified and even stronger than I gave it credit for…….


HOUSTON (May 13, 2015) Houston home sales held to positive territory in April and inventory edged up to levels last seen in September 2014. Sales of single-family homes rose 1.9 percent year-over-year, with the greatest volume taking place among homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), April single-family home sales totaled 6,502 units compared to 6,380 a year earlier. Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, increased to a 2.9-months supply versus 2.6 months last April. That remains well below the current national supply of 4.6 months of inventory.

Home prices achieved record highs for an April, with the average price of a single-family home climbing 4.3 percent year-over-year to $281,724. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—jumped 7.0 percent to $209,790.

April sales of all property types totaled 7,907 units, up 1.5 percent compared to the same month last year. Total dollar volume increased 6.0 percent to $2.1 billion versus $1.9 billion a year earlier.

“The Houston real estate market is doing quite well despite low inventory levels and concerns about the effects of declining oil prices,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. “Realtors I speak to regularly tell me that business remains strong, and April’s uptick in inventory means consumers had the benefit of more homes hitting the market. We will have to watch and see how layoffs in the energy industry affect home sales in the months ahead.”


April Monthly Market Comparison


The Houston housing market saw across-the-board gains in April, with single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing all up compared to April 2014.

Month-end pending sales for all property types totaled 6,717, a 39.8 percent increase versus one year earlier. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of April rose 4.9 percent to 29,486.

Houston’s housing inventory grew slightly in April to a 2.9-months supply versus the 2.6-months supply of one year earlier. That matches the inventory level from September 2014. According to the National Association of Realtors, the current supply of homes nationally stands at a 4.6-months supply.

Total property sales 7,788 7,907 1.5%
Total dollar volume $1,977,514,048 $2,096,329,216 6.0%
Total active listings 28,114 29,486 4.9%
Total pending sales 4,806 6,717 39.8%
Single-family home sales 6,380 6,502 1.9%
Single-family average sales price $270,167 $281,724 4.3%
Single-family median sales price $196,000 $209,790 7.0%
Single-family months inventory* 2.6 2.9 9.6%

* 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 Housing Market
Housing Market

April single-family home sales totaled 6,502, up 1.9 percent from April 2014. That represents the second consecutive monthly gain since a 6.4 percent drop in February

Home prices reached record highs for an April in Houston. The single-family average price increased 4.3 percent from last year to $281,724 and the median price climbed 7.0 percent year-over-year to $209,790. The average number of days it took to sell a home, or Days on Market (DOM), was 51 in April, down slightly from the DOM of 56 a year earlier.

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


  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 23.5 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 14.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 9.7 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 9.9 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 4.8 percent


Single Family Average Home Price


HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. In April, existing home sales totaled 5,571. That is up 2.6 percent from the same month last year. The average sales price rose 4.9 percent year-over-year to $262,967 while the median sales price increased 7.8 percent to $194,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Sales of townhouses and condominiums experienced a third straight monthly gain in April, increasing 6.5 percent. A total of 657 units sold compared to 617 properties in April 2014. The average price, however, tumbled 6.2 percent to $196,122 and the median price dropped 12.0 percent to $139,950. Inventory shrank slightly from a 2.7-months supply to 2.6 months.

Townhouse/Condominium Sales


Lease Property Update

Demand for single-family homes and townhouse/condominiums for lease was flat in April. The average rent for a single-family home rose 5.9 percent to $1,764 and the average rent for a townhouse/condominium increased 8.0 percent to $1,595.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in April
  • Single-family home sales rose 1.9 percent versus April 2014;
  • Total property sales were up 1.5 percent year-over-year;
  • Total dollar volume increased 6.0 percent, rising from $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion;
  • At $281,724, the single-family home average price reached an April high;
  • At $209,790, the single-family home median price also achieved a record high for an April;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory ticked up to a 2.9-months supply;
  • Days on Market for single-family homes was 51 days versus 56 days a year earlier;
  • Townhouse/condominium sales rose 6.5 percent versus April 2014.