HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Houston home sales hit a record high in 2019 with 86,205 single-family home sales, up 4.8 percent from 2018, the Houston Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.
The housing market was fueled by low mortgage rates below 4 percent, with good job growth and a more plentiful supply of homes for sale.
“We finished the best year ever,” said former HAR chairman Shad Bogany of Better Homes & Gardens Gary Greene. “A lot of it has to do with our job growth and our diversity.”
For the year, the single-family median home price was $245,000, up 3.2 percent from the 2018 median of $237,500, HAR said.
“Prices are still rising,” Bogany said. “The challenge we are going to have in the future is affordability – because it’s almost gone.”
HAR reported sales of homes priced less than $100,000 were down 20 percent in December. The inventory in the lower-price bands is very tight and virtually non-existent.
Overall, the inventory of homes for sale in Houston – a 3.4-months supply – indicates that it’s still a sellers market in Houston.
Houston ended the year with a massive December sales total with 7,505 single-family homes sold, a 14.3 percent increase over the sales total of December 2018.
“As long as the Houston economy remains healthy and we see some growth in housing inventory, we expect 2020 to get off to a positive start,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center.
HAR stats show pending home sales in December were up 22.7 percent, a significant gain that demonstrates the potency of January 2020.
Will sales continue at this strong pace in 2020?
“We believe so, our city is growing and lots of people are relocating here,” said Nancy Almodovar, President and CEO of Nan & Company Properties. “Our agency is strong because millennials are a high percentage of our buyers and that is who we cater to.”
Overwhelming student debt has plagued the millennial buyer for years and the household formation pattern in the that cohort had been sluggish. But slowly, more millennials are getting into the housing market.
Today, about 33 percent of homebuyers at Taylor Morrison Homes are millennials, compared to 20 percent five years ago, says Sheryl Palmer, CEO of the Arizona-based home builder.
Mortgage rates are expected to hold steady in 2020. And the Federal Reserve is not expected to make any sudden moves as inflation remains in check.
On the down side, Houston’s job growth will be off slightly from the 2019 pace as the energy industry works through a downturn.
The other possible drag on the Houston market is the inventory of homes for sale is tightening again. The lack of supply had been a drawback in years past because the number of available homes on the market was so thin that would-be buyers could not locate appropriate homes in the areas they desired.
Jan. 8, 2020 Realty News Report Copyright 2020
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