By Ralph Bivins
HOUSTON – Houston’s existing home sales rose 9.1 percent in October compared to a year ago, extending a string of strong sales totals, Houston Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Sales increases have been reported five months in a row.
Houston’s inventory of homes for sale dropped sharply. A total of 46,674 properties were listed for sale, a 12 percent decline from a year earlier, HAR reported.
It was the lowest inventory level since April 2010 a 6.6 month supply.That means it would take 6.6 months to sell all the single-family homes on the market based on sales activity over the past year. The figure is significantly better than the national inventory of single-family homes of 8.5 months.
All segments of the Houston housing market, from the sub-$80,000 to the $500,000 and above, experienced growth. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 3.4 percent.
“The further we distance ourselves from last year’s tax credit as we analyze the local housing data, the clearer an indication we get of market performance, and the latest numbers show a healthy sales climate for an autumn in Houston,” said Carlos Bujosa, HAR chairman and VP at Transwestern. “As long as the Houston economy continues to strengthen with additional job growth, we can be cautiously optimistic about the state of the housing market going into the new year.”
The average price of a single-family home increased 1.1 percent from October 2010 to $208,506, the highest level for an October in Houston.
After a long downward trend, Houston home sales began trending upward in June, when sales ticked up 1.4 percent, followed by a 15.3 jump in July and increases of 28.8 percent and 15.2 percent in August and September. On a year-to-date basis, sales are up 3.4 percent over the pace in 2010.