HOUSTON – Houston home sales bounced back after Hurricane Harvey, registering a 14 percent jump September over the flood-ravaged August.
“I don’t think anyone expected to see home sales in positive territory this soon after a natural disaster of Harvey’s magnitude, but the September report speaks volumes about the incredible resiliency of the Houston real estate market,” said HAR Chair Cindy Hamann.
The hurricane, which dumped some 50 inches of rain on Harris County, knocked out meaningful sales activity for at least a week. Some 70,000 homes received water damage.
Sales were down 24 percent in August. Some deals were killed when houses that were under contract went underwater during Harvey and buyers backed off from closing on flooded homes.
In September, single-family home sales staged an impressive post-Hurricane Harvey rebound, rising 4.2 percent to a total of 6,913 units sold versus 6,636 in September 2016.
Having more homes sales in a September than in the prior August is a rarity. Sales usually taper off in September as back-to-school activities start to choke off home sales. So the hurricane-assisted gain from August to September in 2017, demonstrates a strong push in an uphill battle against historical trends.
In September, the single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 5.5 percent to $232,000. The average price increased 5.4 percent to $291,767. Both figures are record highs for a September.
On a year-to-date basis, home sales remain 2.3 percent ahead of the 2016 volume despite Harvey’s rampage. So, home sales remain on pace for another record-setting year when the annual sales are tallied for 2017.