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Houston Home Sales Up Sharply in June

By Ralph Bivins

The Houston Association of Realtors reported Houston area home sales were up 14 percent over June of last year.

For the month of June $1.7 billion worth of residential properties were sold – the highest monthly sales total since August 2007, the Houston Association of Realtors said.

Inventory of homes for sale is low. Only 42,207 properties were listed for sale in June, down about 18 percent from last June. The 5.5 months inventory of single-family homes is at the lowest level in more than five years.

The market for upscale homes priced over $500,000 were up 27.2 percent over last year, the HAR reported.

“I thank God every day I’m in Houston, Texas,” said John Daugherty, of John Daugherty, Realtors, which specializes in Houston’s upper-end homes. “The city is hopping again. The activity reminds me of the early ‘80s.”

Foreclosures are down significantly from last year. The decline of the low-priced foreclosed homes, along with the strong sales in the upper-end of the market are pushing the price statistics upward dramatically.

The realty association reports June’s average home price of $236,656 was an all-time record for Houston as was the median single-family home price of $171,000.

June brought Houston’s overall housing market positive results when all sales categories are compared to June 2011. On a year-over-year basis, total property sales, total dollar volume and average and median pricing were all up.

Month-end pending sales for June totaled 4,090. That is up 5.6 percent from last year and portends another month of advancing sales when the July real estate transactions are totaled.

“We see the strength of the Houston housing market as a direct reflection of improving consumer confidence in the local economy as a whole,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. “One of the principal factors in the demand for homes throughout greater Houston has been steady job gains that the Texas Workforce Commission reports has amounted to more than 90,000 hires over the past year. In its July economic outlook, the Greater Houston Partnership said ‘Houston is the strongest of all the major metro economies in the U.S., and if job growth continues at the current pace, this may be one of the best years on record for the region.’”

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