Sept. Houston Home Sales Volume, Prices Continue Their Record Climb

Sept. Houston Home Sales Volume, Prices Continue Their Record Climb

Sales volume up (to a record), total dollar amount up, price up (to a record)……

The good news here is builders have been ramping up production in the area to meet demand and inventory is increasing although at 3.5mos it is still well below where it needs to be.  The collapse in oil prices has had such a serious impact on the housing market there is now takes 49 days to sell a home vs 48 last year and you’re only getting another $13k in price appreciation for that extra day’s wait…..pure carnage (please note sarcasm).

This continue to be solid news for $HHC and their MPC’s there. Now, fully expect YOY land sales to fall in Q3. Why? Simple, The Woodlands is essentially sold out and Bridgeland is just getting started (due to delays in getting Army Corp of Engineers permitting in 2014). There will be a lag before sales there accelerate but the good news is that this data continues to back the thesis that they will indeed accelerate and the Houston housing market remains very very strong.  We will of course look at the MPC’s individually when results come out. The strong market does bode well for their retail and office developments in the area also.

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Houston is far far more than simply oil and gas…..


From the Houston Area Realtors:

MLS Report for September 2015

Home prices claim September highs while inventory grows

HOUSTON (October 14, 2015) After a relatively flat performance in August, the Houston housing market kept pace with last year’s record sales volume and prices throughout September. Just as in August, homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000 saw moderate gains, while the low and high ends of the market declined.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), September single-family home sales totaled 6,691 units compared to 6,463 a year earlier, an increase of 3.5 percent. It took 49 days for the average home to sell versus 48 days in 2014.

Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on sales over the previous 12 months, grew from a 2.9-months supply last September to a 3.5-months supply. Inventory has held at a 3.5-months supply for the past three months, but remains below the current national housing supply of 5.2 months of inventory.

Home prices reached September highs, with the average price of a single-family home up 0.5 percent year-over-year to $270,901. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—jumped 4.5 percent to $208,000.

Sales of all property types totaled 8,024 units, up 2.2 percent compared to September of last year. Total dollar volume rose 3.8 percent to $2.1 billion.

“September showed a bit more vitality than August, and considering that we are comparing to a record 2014 sales year and remain in a climate of energy-related layoffs, I’d say that the Houston real estate market is truly holding its own,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. “Sales inventory has been stable for the past three months and we expect it to grow in the last quarter of 2015.”

September Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market saw across-the-board gains in the September 2015 versus 2014 analysis, with single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all up, while prices reached record highs for a September.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,602, a 3.7 percent decline from a year earlier, which might suggest slower sales when the October numbers are tallied. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of September rose 17.6 percent to 34,041.

Houston’s housing inventory has held at a 3.5-months supply since July of this year, but is up from the 2.9-months supply recorded in September 2014. That still remains below the current 5.2-months national supply of homes reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Total property sales 7,848 8,024 2.2%
Total dollar volume $2,002,031,499 $2,078,301,152 3.8%
Total active listings 28,946 34,041 17.6%
Single-family home sales 6,463 6,691 3.5%
Single-family average sales price $269,629 $270,901 0.5%
Single-family median sales price $199,000 $208,000 4.5%
Single-family months inventory* 2.9 3.5 20.7%
Single-family pending sales** 6,854 6,602 -3.7%

* 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.

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Todd Sullivan is a Massachusetts-based value investor and a General Partner in Rand Strategic Partners. He looks for investments he believes are selling for a discount to their intrinsic value given their current situation and future prospects. He holds them until that value is realized or the fundamentals change in a way that no longer support his thesis. His blog features his various ideas and commentary and he updates readers on their progress in a timely fashion. His commentary has been seen in the online versions of the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, CNN Money, Business Week, Crain’s NY, Kiplingers and other publications. He has also appeared on Fox Business News & Fox News and is a contributor. His commentary on Starbucks during 2008 was recently quoted by its Founder Howard Schultz in his recent book “Onward”. In 2011 he was asked to present an investment idea at Bill Ackman’s “Harbor Investment Conference”.

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