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Strongest October in Houston Real Estate History for Existing Homes Sales

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says Houston will outpace the nation in 2015. Photo by Ralph Bivins.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, says Houston will outpace the nation in 2015. Photo by Ralph Bivins.

HOUSTON – Houston residential realty had its best October ever as 6,639 single-family homes sold in October, the strongest October on record and a 12 percent over last October, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

The Houston housing inventory remains very tight, as home builders have been late to respond to a surge in demand. With the “shale revolution” firing up domestic energy production, Houston added about 120,000 new jobs over the last 12 months, a growth pace that has been achieved only a few times in the city’s history.

This all spells good news for Houston housing – single-family, as well as multifamily.

Houston has a 2.8-months supply of homes for sale, much lower than the national average of 5.3-months, the realty association said.

“The inventory remains very low,” said Houston Realtor Amy Bernstein of Bernstein Realty. “In some areas and some price ranges are still seeing multiple offers. But not all areas.”

Multiple offers are still happening frequently in the Memorial area, inside the Loop, parts of Katy and The Woodlands, Bernstein says, although moderation for the holiday season is expected in the coming weeks, as is typical.

Houston’s housing, however, maintains a strong national reputation.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said in a recent interview at the NAR convention in New Orleans that Houston will outpace the nation in 2015.

For 2015, Yun predicts sales prices will be up over 4 percent on a national basis and unit sales will be up 7 percent. The Houston housing market will do better than that because of the strong Texas economy, Yun told me in an interview in New Orleans.

Home prices continue to rise in Houston. The single-family median price in October was $192,000 and the average price was $262,013, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.

Exxon Mobil is relocating 2,000 employees from out of state to its new 385-acre campus, just north of Houston.

Other firms are also relocating employees to Houston and that activity is not stalling out, even though the realty market, typically slows in the fall, said Bernstein, who assists many employees who are moving to Houston.

“Even at this time of year we’re still seeing steady relocation activity. And it’s in all industries,” Bernstein said. “A large part of it is energy, but its not all energy.”

By Ralph Bivins, Editor, RealtyNewsReport

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