HOUSTON – (By Michelle Leigh Smith for Realty News Report) – Houston had record home sales in August, making the summer of 2019 the strongest summer that Houston Realtors have ever seen.
A total of 8,679 homes were sold in August, up 3.9 percent from the 8,355 sold in August of 2018, the Houston Association of Realtors reports.
Sales in August of 2019 were the highest ever for an August.
“This has been one of the hottest summers in Houston history, both in terms of temperatures and home sales,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene. “The Houston real estate market typically slows a bit once school starts and we get into fall, but with interest rates as low as they’ve been and a steadily growing supply of homes, it’s possible that sales don’t let up until closer to the holidays”
The strong sales in August represented the second best month for single-family sales in the history of Houston realty The sales total of 8,679 homes in August was second only to the sales total of last month – when a record 8,930 homes were sold in July 2019.
This year is shaping up to be the strongest year ever for home sales in the Houston area. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 3.1 percent ahead of 2018’s pace. And 2018 was the best year ever for home sales in Houston.
Low mortgage interest rates are fueling sales activity. Thirty-year, fixed-rates mortgages are available around 3.5-percent. Freddie Mac recently reported rates were at their lowest point since 2016.
“Lower rates are a positive for activating buyers and holds true for the current market,” says Neal Hamil, president of Carnan Properties. “Our August sales were strong as reflected in a big number of closings in these last few days of the month and more on the calendar for September. August has been particularly good in our condo business. Of the 98 units at the Marlowe (downtown), we sold the inventory down to 10 remaining units; selling 9 units in the month of August.”
The Houston housing market has also been assisted by good job growth and low unemployment.
“The low interest rates, strong economy, and low unemployment rates are really motivating people,” said Dawn Cornell of Cornell Real Estate Group. “I had a closing on Friday, August 30th for new construction and my clients and I were one of 90 closings that day. The (title company) staff said it was like Christmas.”
Houston’s inventory has grown somewhat to around a 4.3-months supply. The inventory has been tight in recent years and buyers wanting a certain price point in a certain neighborhood or school district have had limited choices.
HAR reported the median single-family home price was $249,000 in August, up 4.5 percent from a year earlier.
“Over all the real estate market is steady, there are a number of expensive homes that are ‘On the Market’ but ‘Not in the Market,” says John Daugherty, Jr. President and CEO of John Daugherty Realtors. “It is very important for sellers to listen to what the buyers are telling them what the market is and pricing there home accordingly.”
HAR reported pending home sales in August were up 16.8 percent, indicating that this surge in home sales will not peter out anytime soon.
“From my viewpoint there appears to be a little more momentum and I think more than there would have been considering it’s late in the buying season,” says Frank Ferrara at Republic State Mortgage.
Sept. 12, 2019 Realty News Report Copyright 2019
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