HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – August 2020 was the hottest August ever for homes sales in Houston and the fiery market should continue for a while.
The Houston Association of Realtors reported 9,195 single-family homes sold in August, up 6 percent from the 8,673 sold in August of 2019.
August 2020 was the strongest August for home sales in Houston real estate history.
The best future indicator – pending home sales – were incredibly strong in August. The Houston Realtors organization, reported 10,598 pending sales last month, up 36 percent from a year earlier. With that many houses going under contract, September should be strong.
Low mortgage rates drive today’s market. With 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hovering near record lows around 3 percent, home buying is affordable to many.
The powerful upswing in Houston, follows a horrible spring when the market was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Houston suffered massive job losses, which wounded the entire economy, including housing. But after the catastrophic sales activity in April and May, home sales skyrocketed in June.
Even the upper-end market soared in August. Homes priced at $750,000 and above registered the greatest percentage increase, soaring 40.3 percent compared to August 2019. Expensive homes had lagged the rest of the market recently. Wealth from a powerful stock market may have fueled the sales of upscale homes.
The single-family home median price climbed 7.6 percent to $269,000, up 7.6 percent from last August, HAR said.
The inventory of homes for sale is small. The slowing pace of new listings combined with strong sales volume drove single-family homes inventory down to a 2.8-month supply in August versus 4.1 months a year earlier. The last time inventory was that low was in April of 2015.
Strongest August in Houston Home Sales
HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center suggested that tighter inventory will result in a deacceleration of sales. “Consumers can still benefit from record low interest rates, however constrained inventory doesn’t offer them many housing options, which is unfortunate.”
Concerns about the tight inventory may be overstated, according to Realty News Report analysis. Homebuilding is strong and housing starts will approach an all-time high in 2020. In early September, the Houston area had more than 34,000 properties for sale.
Inventory should be sufficient in most sectors and Houston appears to be heading toward an all-time record year.
Sept. 10, 2020 Realty News Report
File: Strongest August in Houston