HOUSTON — (Realty News Report)— No inventory? No problem. January home sales were up 28 percent over sales in January of last year.
The inventory of homes for sale hit a record low in January, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
With fewer new listings entering the market, inventory registered a record low 1.8-months supply compared to 3.3 months a year earlier, the association said. It is also just slightly below the current national inventory level of 1.9 months recently reported by NAR.
Even though the inventory of homes for sale has been exceptionally small, buyers have continued to locate and acquire houses.
It’s a continuation of fiery sales activity that ignited last June once the market stabilized after the initial blow from Covid.
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors report, 6,088 single-family homes sold in January compared to 4,769 a year earlier.
Buyers are motivated by the lowest mortgage rates on record. Thirty-year mortgages have been at or below 3 percent for months.
Realty experts have continued to say since last summer that low inventory would dampen home sales activity. But homes keep on selling at a rapid pace. Last year was the strongest year for home sales in the history of Houston real estate. And experts continue to predict that low inventory will cause a decrease in sales.
“The Houston real estate market carried the momentum of 2020 into the new year, however we believe that the current pace of sales is unsustainable without an infusion of new listings into the marketplace,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “It’s our hope that as we move out of the winter months, more sellers will begin to put their homes on the market and help boost inventory to pre-pandemic levels.”
A 6-months supply of homes for sale is considered a balanced market. The 1.9-months supply prevalent in January creates a seller’s market, meaning sellers have the advantage over buyers.
The law of supply-and-demand rings true. The tight inventory means prices have been rising.
Houston’s median home price in January was a record $263,500, a 12.1 percent increase over the median of $235,000 in January of last year.
Home prices have increased significantly across the nation.
Home builders face shortages of lumber and lots and home starts have been unable to create sufficient supply to meet the hot market.
Affordability grows as a concern, according to an economist at the National Association of Home Builders.
“Housing affordability will continue to be a top concern this year,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, speaking at the IBS virtual conference this week. “On the demand side of the housing market, limited inventories of single-family homes generated strong price gains in 2020.”
Feb. 10, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
File: Houston Home Sales Up
Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright 2021