HOUSTON – September remained robust in Houston in September as single-family home sales were the highest ever recorded in September — up 23.5 percent , compared to September of last year. A total of 6,168 houses were sold, according to statistics from the Realtors association. Houston’s real estate market has been on an extended winning streak registering 28 consecutive months of increasing home sales.
When will the phenomenal surge end? “I get asked that question several times a day. But it’s not slowing any signs of slowing down,” says Amy Bernstein of Bernstein Realty. “It’s still clipping along at brisk pace.”
The relocation business remains very strong as companies transfer employees into Houston from other cities, Bernstein says. The newcomers are buying new construction homes in the suburbs for people who work in the Energy Corridor or The Woodlands. But many newcomers who work downtown are buying homes in the inner city, Bernstein says.
The federal government shutdown has not made a dent in real estate market so far, local realty agents say. Houston’s economy created 81,000 new jobs over the last year, mortgages interest rates remain under 5 percent and the inventory of homes for sale is exceptionally tight.
Unless there is an economic crash generated by a failure to resolve the debt ceiling conflict in Congress, the rest of the year looks good for realty.
“The Houston housing market has had remarkable growth throughout 2013, and we’ve certainly experienced steady growth throughout much of the year,” says Tom Anderson, executive vice president and partner of Martha Turner Properties. Anderson, who’s been working in Houston realty for decades, says the market is on track for continued strength for the remainder of 2013.
Houston currently has about a 3.2 months supply of homes for sale, down from a 4.7 months supply a year ago. When the supply is this tight homes in some of the hottest markets will receive multiple offers and be sold within a few days.
The small inventory of homes for sale continues to drive up home prices. The median price of a single-family home—the midpoint figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 10.2 percent to $181,750. The average price increased 13.1 percent year-over-year to $248,256. Both figures represent the highest prices for a September in Houston.