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Despite Oil Crash, June was Strongest Month Ever for Houston Home Sales

HOUSTON – June was the strongest month ever for home sales in Houston, with an all-time record sales of 7,935 single-family homes, Houston Association of Realtors reported.

Industry experts had been predicting that the Houston real estate market would stumble in 2015, after oil prices dropped sharply last year.

But the predicted downturn has failed to materialize.

“We started this year with big concerns over everything going on in the oil industry, thinking that this would be the year of the slowdown. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite,” said Houston residential broker Amy Bernstein of Bernstein Realty. “It is very surprising to see that we don’t see any effects from the oil companies slowing down and laying off people at all.”

Although job growth has moderated in Houston, known as the Energy Capital of the World, low mortgage interest rates and a tight inventory of homes for sale has fueled the housing market and consumer confidence is high.

The surge in June was not just a one-month flash in the pan. The market has been strong throughout the year.

Midway through 2015, a total of 35,636 single-family homes have been sold. That’s less that a 1 percent decline (only 200 fewer home sales) from the midyear sales total in 2014.

Keeping pace with 2014 is a remarkable because last year was the strongest year on record for Houston home sales.

The home sales total for June topped the previous record high month – May of 2013 when 7,708 single-family homes were sold, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, which has issued monthly sales reports for decades.

“Experts and people in the industry who watch the trends, they are very positive,” said Cheri Fama, president of John Daugherty Realtors.

For the Houston realty industry as a whole, June was a record-setter with total dollar-volume of $2.7 billion, a 9.5 percent increase over June of 2014.

Prices reached all-time record highs in June, the Realtors association reported.

In June, the average price of a single-family home was $302,942, up over 6.6 percent over the average price in June of last year. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 4.9 percent to $225,000, HAR reported.

The inventory of homes for sale rose slightly in June, but the supply remains tight, compared to historical norms.

The typical home sold in June was on the market for only 43 days – another all-time record in the “days on market” category. In other words, homes were flying off the shelves faster than ever before.

The total single-family sales in June were up 4.1 percent over June of 2014. Townhome and condo sales were also healthy, with a total of 721 units sold in June, up 6.7 percent compared to June 2014.

Pending home sales, an indication of what will happen in July, are up sharply and July could be another record-setting month, extending the success of the hot summer selling season.

In 2015, the Houston housing market is running neck-and-neck with the record-setting pace of 2014. There are no new signs of a slowdown coming, so even with the oil price crash, 2015 will be one of Houston’s strongest years for home sales – maybe the best year ever.

 

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