Homes Sale Slowdown? Not in Houston!

You won’t find signs of the traditional autumn slowdown in the Houston real estate market as August provided a 27th consecutive month of positive home sales. Following July’s small uptick in home inventory, buyers once again outpaced sellers in August, sending months of inventory from 3.4 to 3.3 months versus 4.9 months at the same time last year.

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), home sales climbed 16.2 percent year-over-year, with contracts closing on 7,504 single-family homes. Monthly home sales volume has topped the 7,000 mark for four straight months, matching levels last seen in the spring of 2007.

The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 12.8 percent to $186,200. The average price increased 16.4 percent year-over-year to $260,607. Both figures represent the highest prices ever seen in an August in Houston.

August brought gains to all housing segments except the under-$80,000 market. Homes selling from $250,000 through the millions registered the greatest increase in sales volume.

“This has definitely been a summer sales season unlike any we have seen before,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “Our small bump in inventory in July was short-lived as consumers bought faster than homeowners sold in August. It’s difficult to say exactly when Houston’s boiling real estate market will begin to cool down.”

Foreclosure property sales reported in the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) dropped 47.0 percent compared to August 2012. Foreclosures currently make up just 7.7 percent of all property sales, down Read the rest of this entry »

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Houston Home Sales Blossom in March

 

HOUSTON — (April 16, 2013) — It’s hard to tell that the spring home buying season has begun because real estate transactions throughout Greater Houston never slowed during the traditionally quieter winter months. The addition of nearly 119,000 jobs over the past 12 months and the resulting need for housing, combined with continued low interest rates, helped make March Houston’s 22nd consecutive month of positive home sales.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), home sales jumped 17.0 percent compared to last March. Housing inventory, which had been at a 13-year low of 3.6 months during the first two months of the year, shrank slightly in March to 3.5 months.

The lower supply of homes and added demand sent prices higher. The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 6.5 percent to $172,000, an all-time record high for Houston. The average price rose 4.6 percent year-over-year to $236,195, the second highest level ever.

Contracts closed on 5,779 single-family homes. That is the largest one-month sales volume since August 2012. All housing segments experienced gains except for those priced under $80,000. Homes selling between $80,000 and $250,000 registered the greatest sales volume increase. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Houston Real Estate Market Charges into 2013 at Full-Throttle

[youtube width="350" height="283"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jbgbRDN-pU&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Housing inventory in Houston now matches levels last seen 13 years ago, as January home sales maintained the aggressive pace established in 2012. January marked the 20th consecutive month of positive home sales, with average and median prices reaching the highest levels for a January in Houston.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), single-family home sales achieved the highest monthly year-over-year percentage increase since last October, rising 28.3 percent compared to January 2012. Contracts closed on 3,899 homes, shrinking inventory to 3.6 months. That matches a level last recorded in December 1999.

All housing segments saw gains in January, with homes priced from $250,000 through the millions registering the greatest sales volume and accounting for the boost in pricing.

“The Houston real estate market gained even more momentum as the new year began,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “We are maintaining a watchful eye on the local housing supply because a significant decline from current inventory levels could potentially have an adverse effect on sales and drive prices disproportionately higher. Market conditions right now are excellent for those considering selling their homes, especially as further growth in hiring continues to drive more potential buyers to the Houston area every day.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Houston Real Estate Market Ends 2012 With a Bang

[youtube width="350" height="283"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6yW-ZiJ1Is&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Sales of homes throughout the greater Houston area never let up in 2012, driven by a combination of strong local jobs numbers and historically low interest rates. December marked the 19th straight month that sales were in the black, and it was another month in which housing inventory shrunk and prices rose. In fact, both median and average home prices achieved historic highs as the year came to a close.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), December single-family home sales increased 11.4 percent versus December 2011. Contracts closed on 5,039 homes, driving inventory down to 3.7 months, the lowest level since December 1999.

All housing segments saw gains in December except for the low end of the market—those homes priced at $80,000 and below. Homes priced from $500,000 and above registered the highest sales volume and accounted for another hike in prices.

“2012 was a phenomenal year for the Houston housing market, thanks to the addition of more than 85,000 new jobs locally as well as continued low interest rates,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “Market conditions have created excellent Read the rest of this entry »

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Katy Real Estate Appraisals: Getting Them Right

By National Association of Realtors 2012 Vice President Gary Thomas

While the real estate market is certainly started on the road to recovery, there are still a few hurdles that are preventing it from gathering steam.  These include tight credit and uncertainty about the rules and regulations governing the mortgage market.

A recently released NAR survey found that issues with appraisals are also holding back home sales.

Appraisals are a vital part of the real estate transaction.  Most appraisers work hard to provide accurate valuations that comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

However, appraisals generally lag market conditions and some changes to the appraisal process have caused difficulty.  These include use of out-of-area evaluators, inappropriate comparisons and excessive lender demands.  Also, before the beginning of last year, some lenders’ loan Read the rest of this entry »

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Pricey Katy Rentals Reflect Tight Market

Nationwide, more than 20 million households spent over 30 percent of their income last year on rent. In fact, more than half of those renters spent at least half their income on housing, “severely burdening” their finances. This information is from Realtor Magazine and USA Today.

Demand has surged for rental homes as many prior homeowners have lost their homes to short sales and foreclosures. Credit repair is a lengthy process. The other factor is the very tight lending environment which precludes many families from realizing the American dream of home ownership.

In the past few years, median rents have soared almost 20%. In Katy, one is hard pressed to find a reasonable property for less than $900 a month. Properties on the southside of I-10 are next to impossible to find below $1100 per month. With a shortage in homes for lease, landlords are requiring reasonable credit scores, good rental history and steady employment. Criminal background checks are also done on a prospective tenant. It is not unusual for a new rental property to receive multiple applications shortly after it goes on the market.

According to HAR MLS data, leases accounted for 35% of Houston area residential real estate transactions last year. In 2011, rentals accounted for a little bit above 50% of all real estate Read the rest of this entry »

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Houston Homes Sell Briskly for Sixteen Straight Months!

Houston-area property sales have now held firmly to positive territory for 16 straight months, and September’s flurry of home buying caused a further drawdown of inventory and hike in prices. While monthly sales volume eased a bit compared to August, there was enough activity to lower available housing inventory to levels not seen since March 2002.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), single-family home sales rose 8.7 percent compared to September 2011. Contracts closed on 5,014 homes in September, driving inventory down to 4.7 months. Only the low end of the housing market experienced a drop in sales.

“Demand for homes throughout Houston continues to outpace supply as we transition into the fall season,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. “Home sales traditionally begin to taper off this time of year, so we are not worried about inventory declining to unhealthy levels. For those considering selling a home, current market conditions present excellent opportunities, and with interest rates falling to new Read the rest of this entry »

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Katy Homeowners: Is This a Good Time to Sell Your House?

Compliments of the Texas Association of Realtors

There are many reasons people consider selling a home. Whether you are thinking of upgrading, downsizing, or simply making a change,  you may be wondering if the timing is right. Here are several reasons why this may be a good time to put your house on the market.

  • Housing prices in Katy have been steadily rising at a moderate pace for many years, even while other communities have experienced price fluctuations. Chances are that your home is worth more than even a few years ago.
  • Record-low interest rates motivate buyers to act on their desire to purchase a home and give them more purchasing power.
  • Unlike several other states that experienced wild price fluctuations and skyrocketing foreclosure rates, Katy does not have a glut of unsold homes. This is even more pronounced in Katy than some other Texas locations. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, the statewide supply of homes is at a level that leads to a balanced market.
  • Individuals and businesses continue to move to Houston at an unprecedented rate. This ongoing population feeds a strong demand for housing.

As a Texas Realtor, specializing in West Houston and Katy, I can show you how our current housing-market conditions factor in to your goal of selling your home. You can count on me to put your interests first while I assist you during this exciting process. I have sold real estate for over 23 years. Give me a call at 713-818-2404 or email me at [email protected]. Experience does count!

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Home Buyers Keep the Houston Real Estate Market Humming in August

[youtube width="350" height="283"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Emd5RASU5QU[/youtube]

August marked the 15th consecutive month of positive home sales across the greater Houston area, with single-family homes selling at the greatest one-month volume since August 2007. Buyers gobbled up enough properties to drive inventory down to a level last seen more than 10 years ago.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), single-family home sales jumped 20.0 percent compared to August 2011. Contracts closed on 6,600 homes in August, sending inventory falling to 4.9 months.

“August rounds out an extremely prosperous summer for the Houston real estate market,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. “As we saw in July, homes sold well in every pricing category, but particularly the higher end, which contributed to another boost in home prices. Further growth in local employment and low interest rates continue to make Houston attractive to home buyers.”

The single-family home average price increased 4.0 percent year-over-year to $224,464, the highest level for an August in Houston. Read the rest of this entry »

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Houston’s Housing Market in a Summer Sizzle

HOUSTON — (August 21, 2012) — Local home buying remained hot in July as real estate consumers accounted for the 14th straight month of positive sales and the steepest one-month sales gain in nearly a year.

Single-family home sales soared 27.0 percent compared to July 2011, according to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR). The robust sales activity is keeping local housing inventory at its lowest level in more than five years.

“July was another very healthy month for the Houston real estate market with strong sales across all housing segments, from lower-priced homes to luxury homes,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. “Sales volume isn’t achieving the record levels we experienced in 2006, before the recession, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a market performing as well as Houston, even as the national housing recovery continues. Houston’s steady employment growth remains a key driver.”

Both average and median prices were up in July. The single-family home average price increased Read the rest of this entry »

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