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Houston Housing Continues to Feel Oil’s Pain…… Home Sales & Price Set Record

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Please note the dripping sarcasm in the title…..

Wondering when we can put to bed the “oil price collapse will kill housing in Houston meme”? Oil started falling in earnest in June  of 2014 and here we are over 2 years later and Houston just had the best August it’s ever had both in terms of price and sales volume.   I’ve long said Houston’s 31 problem with housing was NOT oil, it was  lack of inventory. It seems builders have finally ramped up production and buyers are coming out of the woodwork to snap up homes. Inventory, at 4mos is much better than the 3mos it has spent most of the time at in 2015-16 is still well below what would be considered equilibrium.

Expect to see continued home price appreciation and sales record should builders continue to bring homes to market.  Oil is no longer the singular driver of Houston’s economy. It has a massive petrochemical complex that is growing rapidly due to cheap nat gas and medical jobs in the areas are growing almost double digits annually. Does oil matter? Yes, it is the difference between a flourishing and a flat/middling economy but it will no longer take it into a prolonged recession like it did in the 80’s. Houston’s population continue to grow, folks need a place to live….


MLS Report for August 2016

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).

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.

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