HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Houston Realtors registered the strongest March ever as home sales rose nearly 5 percent in March compared to a year earlier, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.
HAR reported a record 7,072 single-family sales in March, compared to 6,740 in March of 2018.
Through the first quarter, year-to-date home sales were 0.3 percent of last year, HAR reported. An 2018 was the strong year ever recorded for home sales in Houston.
At the beginning of 2019, home sales were softer and headlines warned “slowdown appears on the horizon.” But, once again. the local sentiment went negative too quickly and the market is surging ahead as second quarter blossoms into the Spring buying season.
In the upscale market, the sales of home priced above $750,000 rose 9 percent.
“Home sales are very steady,” observes John Daugherty, Jr. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of John Daugherty, Realtors. “There is good activity and we exceeded our sales goals for the month of March. We are expecting this to be a great year for residential real estate in Houston.”
Lower mortgage rates energized the market as the average 30-year rate ranging not much higher that 4 percent.
“The interest rate dip has proved to be a great thing as those who were holding back are now actively buying,” said Houston agent Trish Figueroa of eXp Realty.
Prices of single-family homes reached record highs for a March. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.1 percent to $240,000.
“Houston is a unique market that is very localized when it comes to activity for sales. The quick answer to the question how is the Houston Market? Is It all depends on where you are. Overall the market is good, inside the beltway has been stable to increasing most other areas are stable unless they saw huge upswings in the 2014-2016 market,” said Ed Wolff, president of Beth Wolff Realtors, Real Living.
Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.9-months supply, up from 3.3 months last March and at its most plentiful level since October 2018.
“Inventory is fairly high for this time of year,” says Jean Shabot of the Jean and Jack Shabot Team, Berkshire Hathaway in Bellaire. “There are 12 homes listed now in Willow Brook, next to Willow Meadows. We have a new listing in Bellaire that will clock in at No. 25 for homes just under $1 million. We see that the millennials are not buying homes the way their parents did. Many of them have huge college debt and would prefer to use their expendable dollars for travel.”
Inventories are high in some neighborhoods that suffered extreme damage in Hurricane Harvey.
“Houston’s spring market is well underway, and most zip codes are balanced between supply and demand — except those neighborhoods flooded by Harvey, which still have excess inventory,” says Roger Martin, President of Roger Martin Properties in West University Place. “Meanwhile, the outlying ‘burbs such as Katy, Sugar Land, the Woodlands, etc. have tipped over into a true sellers market.”