HOUSTON – Single-family homes are selling at a record pace in Houston. Not only did sales hit the highest total ever for a September, but the yearly totals are record-setting as well.
Over the last 12 months, ending Sept. 30, a total of 90,124 homes were sold in the Houston area, a 4.4 percent increase over the comparable period of last year.
It was the first time ever that Houston recorded more than 90,000 sales in a 12-month period, according to the Greater Houston Partnership.
Some observers predicted that the Houston housing market would taper off slightly in 2014, after a record-setting year in 2013.
But the negativity failed to materialize. The incredibly tight inventory did not derail the market and Houston’s job growth took off on an upward sprint instead of tapering off.
In September, 6,490 single-family homes were sold, a 7 percent increase over sales in September of 2013, the Houston Association of Realtors reports..
The inventory of homes for sale dipped to a 2.9-months supply in September, an extremely thin supply that made finding a home very difficult in some parts of town. Some consumers are turning to rental properties instead of buying.
“As long as consumers continue to snap up homes at the current pace, replenishing our housing inventory will be a slow process,” said HAR Chair Chaille Ralph with Heritage Texas Properties. “Rental numbers were strong in September, suggesting that many would-be home buyers are continuing to go the lease route until the market bears the homes they’re looking for at the price point that suits them.”
The Houston economy has been surging as the energy industry has led Houston to be the national leader in job growth. Thousands of people are relocating to the Bayou City every month. Exxon Mobil, for example, is bringing in 2,000 people to work at its new campus near The Woodlands.
The tight inventory pushes up home prices.
The median single-family home price in September was $196,000, up about 8 percent from a year ago, HAR said.
The total volume of all properties sold through the Houston Association of Realtors totaled $2 billion in September, up about 16 percent from a year ago.
Mortgage interest rates remain low, not much over 4 percent for 30-year home loans, and that is not expected to change much for the remainder the year.
Pending home sales, an indicator of near-term future transactions, are up 17 percent, the Realtors association reports.