HOUSTON – After setting a record high for annual home sales in 2013, sales totals at midyear show Houston realty may be heading for a repeat performance in 2014.
Midyear sales totals for the first half of 2014 show 35,683 single family homes were sold through June, up 0.8 percent from the sales recorded at the midway mark of last year.
“It looks like it’s on a pace to do it,” says Cheri Fama, president of John Daugherty Realtors. “I can’t imagine that all of the indicators aren’t pointing the same way.”
Accelerated job growth with more than 90,000 new jobs added over the last 12 months has super-charged the home market. Exxon Mobil and many other energy firms have been relocating employees to Houston.
The inventory of homes for sale has been at – or near – record lows in recent months. In June the Houston area hit a 2.9-months supply on for-sale inventory meaning the Bayou City has one of the tightest real estate markets in the country. In June, homes stayed on the market for an average of only 46 days, the lowest days-on-market average ever in Houston, and the Realtors association reports.
“There are buyers out there who just can’t find a house to buy,” says Shad Bogany of Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene.
The Houston Association of Realtors reports 7,553 homes were sold in June, up 4.5 percent over last June.
New listings rose 6.7 percent, helping nudge inventory up from May’s 2.8-months supply to 2.9 months. However, that is still lower than the 3.3-months supply of inventory in June 2013 and significantly below the national supply of 5.6 months of inventory.
The average price of a single-family home jumped 6.6 percent year-over-year to $283,697. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—soared 11.3 percent to $214,000. Both are historic highs for Houston.
“June’s positive sales performance is a testament to the strength of the Houston housing market,” said HAR Chair Chaille Ralph with Heritage Texas Properties. “We were thrilled to see home sales rebound after May’s decline and we hope that as new listings come onto the market and home construction continues, inventory levels will rise to a point where we can truly say that balance has been restored.”
Foreclosure property sales reported in the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fell again, diving 46.6 percent compared to June 2013. Foreclosures now comprise just 4.4 percent of all property sales, down from an 8.4 percent share a year earlier. The median price of foreclosures jumped 20.0 percent to $108,000.
— By Ralph Bivins, Editor, RealtyNewsReport