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Despite Oil Crash, July was Best Month Ever for Houston Home Sales

HOUSTON – July was the best month ever for home sales in Houston, despite the economic woes generated by the decline of the energy industry.

Many economists had been expecting a slowdown in home sales after oil prices fell from $107 a barrel last summer to under $50 a barrel today and energy companies to laid off thousands of workers.

Houston Association of Realtors reported 8,147 single family homes were sold last month, the first time more than 8,000 homes have been sold in a single month, the Houston Association of Realtors reports.

Houston continues to add jobs and mortgage interest rates remain low – around 4 percent.

“People are taking advantage of super low interest rates right now,” says Ted C. Jones, chief economist of Houston’s Stewart Title Guaranty.

Rising apartment rents are also driving apartment dwellers into purchasing a home, Jones says, because today’s higher rents make purchasing a house an attractive proposition.

“The rental market is extremely expensive,” says Realtor Shad Bogany of Better Homes & Gardens Gary Greene.

After a record setting year in 2014, home sales are running slight ahead of last year’s fiery pace. So far this year 43,559 single-family homes have been sold in the Houston area, up very slightly from 43,482 sales at this point in 2014.

Single-family home sales in July represented almost a 7 percent gain over sales in July of last year, HAR reports.

The previous record for home sales in a single month was set earlier this summer when 7,669 homes were sold in June 2015. Sales of townhouses and condominiums were up about 7 percent in July, compared to a year ago.

Home prices continued to rise. The average price of a single-family home sold in July was $293,790, up over 6 percent from last year, HAR reports. The inventory of homes for sale remains tight with less than a four-month supply.

Aug. 13, 2015

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