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Newsletters2020-03-05T01:59:14+00:00

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Noteworthy News – September 2020

September 9th, 2020|Newsletters|

HOUSTON — (September 9, 2020) — Following a July that vaulted Houston real estate into the record books, August proved to be another healthy month for home sales despite the lingering coronavirus pandemic. The high end of the market staged the strongest performance, pulling up overall pricing along the way. However, with a decline in the number of listings for sale coming on the market, inventory has now fallen to its lowest level in five years, setting the stage for moderating sales in the weeks ahead despite historically low interest rates.
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, 9,195 single-family homes sold in August compared to 8,673 a year earlier. That accounted for a 6.0 percent increase and marked the third consecutive month of positive sales.
Homes priced at $750,000 and above registered the greatest percentage increase, soaring 40.3 percent compared to August 2019. In second place was the $500,000 to $750,000 housing segment, which jumped 34.4 percent year-over-year. Homes between $250,000 and $500,000 — the market’s highest volume sales range – also achieved significant increases over 2019.
The single-family home median price climbed 7.6 percent to $269,000 while the average price rose 7.8 percent to $334,256. Both figures are record highs for an August. Year-to-date sales are running 2.8 percent ahead of 2019’s record pace.
Sales of all property types totaled 11,121 – up 7.3 percent from August 2019. Total dollar volume for the month increased 13.4 percent to $3.5 billion. After strong consumer interest in July, the lease market retreated in August, with declines in both the single-family and townhouse/condo markets.
“August was the third straight positive month for Houston real estate, but with a dwindling supply of homes entering the market, we expect sales volume to resume a more normalized pace for this time of year,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “Consumers can still benefit from record low interest rates, however constrained inventory doesn’t offer them many housing options, which is unfortunate.”
Lease Property Update
Houston’s lease property market slowed in August. Leases of single-family homes fell 13.3 percent year-over-year while leases of townhomes and condominiums declined 13.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 2.3 percent to $1,961 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums edged up 1.0 percent to $1,654..
August Monthly Market Comparison
With a slew of pending transactions converting to closed sales in August, the Houston housing market achieved its third consecutive month of positive home sales. On a year-to-date basis, the market is running 2.8 percent ahead of 2019’s record pace. Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose compared to August 2019. Pending sales soared 35.9 percent. However, total active listings – or the total number of available properties – fell 23.0 percent.
Single-Family Homes Update
In August, single-family home sales rose 6.0 percent with 9,195 units sold throughout the greater Houston area compared to 8,673 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, sales are currently 2.8 percent ahead of last year’s record pace. Strong sales volume at the high end of the market elevated pricing levels. The single-family home median price rose 7.6 percent to $269,000 while the average price increased 7.8 percent to $334,256.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, lowered from 53 to 51. Inventory registered a 2.8-months supply compared to 4.1 months a year earlier and is at levels not seen since April 2015. It is also slightly below the current national inventory level of 3.1 months recently reported by NAR.

Broken out by housing segment, August sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 34.2 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 31.4 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: decreased 4.4 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 18.3 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 34.4 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 40.3 percent
HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,621 in August, up 7.0 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price rose 10.2 percent to $332,003 while the median sales price jumped 10.6 percent to $260,000.
For HAR’s new Monthly Activity Snapshot (MAS) of the August 2020 trends, please click HERE to access a downloadable PDF file.
Townhouse/Condominium Update
Townhome and condominium edged up 1.3 percent in August, registering 647 closed sales compared to 639 a year earlier. The average price rose 4.5 percent to $216,733 and the median price increased 1.7 percent to $175,000. Inventory narrowed from a 4.6-months supply to 4.1 months.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in August

  • Following a record-setting performance in July, single-family home sales held to positive territory again in August, rising 6.0 percent year-over-year with 9,195 units sold;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes lowered from 53 to 51 days;
  • Total property sales rose 7.3 percent with 11,121 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume jumped 13.4 percent to $3.5 billion;
  • The single-family home median price rose 7.6 percent to $269,000 – the second highest median price of all time;
  • The single-family home average price increased 7.8 percent to $334,256 – the second highest average price in history;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory registered a 2.8-months supply, down from 4.1 months last August and below the national inventory level of 3.1 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 1.3 percent, with the average price up 4.5 percent to $216,733 and the median price up 1.7 percent to $175,000;
  • Single-family home rentals dropped 13.3 percent with the average rent up 2.3 percent to $1,961;
  • Townhome/condominium leases fell 13.7 percent with the average rent up 1.0 percent to $1,654.

Noteworthy News – August 2020

August 12th, 2020|Newsletters|

Sales volume and pricing soar to new highs as pent-up demand from COVID-19 heats up Houston housing for a second straight month
HOUSTON — (August 12, 2020) — A continued surge in closings from homes that went under contract after the lifting of COVID-19 stay-at-home measures propelled Houston real estate into record territory in July – surpassing June’s stronger-than-expected performance. However, a dwindling supply of homes caused by the burst of homebuying and home sellers holding back amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis will make it difficult to keep up with the strong buyer demand.
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, 10,975 single-family homes sold in July compared to 8,921 a year earlier. That translated to a 23.0 percent increase. That is a record sales volume for a single month and marks the first time that figure has surpassed 10,000.
Homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 registered the greatest percentage increase, rocketing 51.9 percent compared to July 2019. The second-best performer was the luxury market – consisting of homes priced at $750,000 and above – which jumped 41.7 percent year-over-year.  Homes between $200,000 and $500,000, the range in which the largest number of homes sell, also saw substantial increases over last year.
The combined strength in the high-end and mid-range markets pulled average and median pricing up to historic levels. The single-family home median price rose 8.7 percent to $271,830 while the average price climbed 8.5 percent to $338,350. Year-to-date sales are now 2.7 percent ahead of 2019’s record pace.
Sales of all property types totaled 13,043 – another record high – up 25.0 percent from July 2019. Total dollar volume for the month leapt 33.8 percent to $4.1 billion. Consumers also sent lease properties into positive territory in July.
 “We are grateful for two consecutive months of strong activity across greater Houston, however we do not consider the current pace of home sales sustainable given the shrinking supply of homes and expect business to taper a bit this fall,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “Historically low interest rates make this an outstanding time to buy a home, but without the inventory, there unfortunately isn’t much out there for consumers.”
Lease Property Update
July leases of single-family homes rose 2.9 percent year-over-year while leases of townhomes and condominiums climbed 6.9 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 1.8 percent to $1,940 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was flat at $1,659.
July Monthly Market Comparison
Continued pent-up housing demand stemming from coronavirus-related stay-at-home directives in the spring led to a second straight month of surging sales in July that pushed the Houston housing market ahead of 2019’s record pace. Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose compared to July 2019. Pending sales shot up 33.9 percent. However, total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 19.4 percent.
With new listings trickling into the marketplace on top of the surge in sales, single-family homes inventory dwindled to a 3.0-month supply in July versus 4.2 months a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 4.0-months supply, according to the the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales soared 23.0 percent in July, with 10,975 units sold across greater Houston compared to 8,921 a year earlier. That is the greatest one-month sales volume of all time and represents the first time that figure has broken the 10,000-mark. On a year-to-date basis, sales are now running 2.7 percent ahead of last year’s record pace. Strong buying activity in the high end of the market drove pricing to historic levels. The single-family home median price rose 8.7 percent to $271,830 while the average price climbed 8.5 percent to $338,350.
Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, edged up from 51 to 56. Inventory registered a 3.0-months supply compared to 4.2 months a year earlier and is below the current national inventory level of 4.0 months recently reported by NAR.
Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:
  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 20.2 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 29.3 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 13.4 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 37.1 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 51.9 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased 41.7 percent

HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 8,989 in July, up 22.5 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price rose 9.1 percent to $332,795 while the median sales price jumped 10.9 percent to $265,000.

For the latest weekly report on housing market trends throughout the greater Houston area, please see the HAR Weekly Activity Snapshot for the week ending August 10, available HERE as a downloadable PDF file.
Townhouse/Condominium Update
After ending three straight months of declining sales in June, townhome and condominium sales were flat in July, registering 690 closed sales compared to 691 a year earlier. The average price rose 9.9 percent to $223,190 and the median price climbed 12.3 percent to $183,000. Inventory narrowed slightly from a 4.6-months supply to 4.3 months.
Houston Real Estate Highlights in July
  • Following a strong performance in June, single-family home sales soared into record-setting territory in July, leaping 23.0 percent year-over-year with 10,975 units sold – a record one-month sales volume;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes expanded from 51 to 56 days;
  • Total property sales soared 25.0 percent with a record-setting 13,043 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume shot up 33.8 percent to $4.1 billion;
  • The single-family home median price set a new record high of $271,830 as it rose 8.7 percent year-over year;
  • The single-family home average price jumped 8.5 percent to $338,350 – also an historic high;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.0-months supply, down from 4.2 months last July and below the national inventory level of 4.0 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales were flat, with the average price up 9.9 percent to $223,190 and the median price up 12.3 percent to $183,000;
  • Single-family home rentals rose 2.9 percent with the average rent up 1.8 percent to $1,940;
  • Townhome/condominium leases increased 6.9 percent with the average rent unchanged at $1,659.

Noteworthy News – July 2020

July 8th, 2020|Newsletters|

HOUSTON HOME BUYERS PUMP UP THE VOLUME IN JUNE

Pent-up demand resulting from COVID-19 boosts home sales, providing a welcome, but possibly brief respite from the pandemic’s effects

HOUSTON — (July 8, 2020) — A flurry of homes going under contract in May after COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders expired led to a surge of closings in June, driving home sales volumes back up to levels considered more normal for summertime in Houston – and even beyond 2019’s record pace. However, renewed coronavirus concerns, stemming from a spike in cases across greater Houston and in other parts of Texas, may bring this taste of normalcy to an end by the fall.

According to the latest Market Update from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), 9,328 single-family homes sold in June compared to 8,063 a year earlier. That translated to a 15.7 percent jump – a strong rebound from two straight months of declines brought on by coronavirus and ongoing strains in the energy industry.

Homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 led the way among all housing segments, soaring 28.3 percent year-over-year. The second-best performer consisted of homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 range, which jumped 18.6 percent. Year-to-date sales are now on par with 2019’s record pace after lagging by 4.3 percent in May.

The single-family home median price increased 3.6 percent to an historic high of $262,000 while the average price dipped less than one percent to $319,881.

Sales of all property types totaled 11,153, up 18.3 percent from June 2019. Total dollar volume for the month increased 15.1 percent to $3.3 billion. Leases of single-family homes were another bright spot in HAR’s monthly report, climbing more than 15 percent.

 “Coronavirus has driven the Houston housing market into uncharted territory, however, we do know for certain that consumers have shown unwavering interest in real estate since the pandemic began,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “HAR’s early introduction of virtual open houses and virtual showings has enabled consumers to forge ahead with house-hunting plans without compromising health and safety, and historically low interest rates have remained a strong incentive to buy.”

For the latest weekly report on housing market trends throughout the greater Houston area, please see the HAR Weekly Activity Snapshot for the week ending July 6, available HERE as a downloadable PDF file.

Lease Property Update

June leases of single-family homes surged 15.3 percent year-over-year. However, leases of townhomes and condominiums were flat. The average rent for single-family homes was down 1.0 percent to $1,906 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums rose 7.9 percent to $1,731.

June Monthly Market Comparison

Pent-up demand resulting from coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders in March and April helped boost pending listings in May, paving the way for a surge in closings in June that drove sales volume up to levels typically seen in Houston over a COVID-free summer. Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all rose compared to June 2019. Pending sales rocketed 39.3 percent, suggesting the likelihood of another strong sales month for July. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 17.5 percent.

With an ongoing slowdown in new listings to the marketplace and an increase in homes going under contract, single-family homes inventory shrank to a 3.2-months supply in June versus 4.3-months a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 4.8-months supply, according to the most recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales shot up 15.7 percent in June, with 9,328 units sold across greater Houston compared to 8,063 a year earlier. That reversed two straight monthly declines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with additional impact from the strained energy industry. On a year-to-date basis, sales now match last year’s record pace. The single-family home median price rose 3.6 percent to an all-time high of $262,000 while the average price decreased a fractional 0.6 percent to $319,881.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, rose from 50 to 56. Inventory registered a 3.2-months supply compared to 4.3 months a year earlier and is below the current national inventory level of 4.8 months recently reported by NAR.
Broken out by housing segment, June sales performed as follows:
  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 16.3 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 3.9 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 9.8 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 28.3 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased 18.6 percent
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 10.6 percent

HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,420 in June, up 11.3 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price fell 0.8 percent to $311,408 while the median sales price rose 3.1 percent to $250,000.
Townhouse/Condominium Update
Townhome and condominium sales rebounded from three straight months of declines, rising 1.9 percent versus June 2019. A total of 590 units sold compared to 579 one year earlier. The average price tumbled 5.4 percent to $212,216 and the median price fell 1.8 percent to $174,350. Inventory narrowed from a 4.8-months supply to 4.3 months.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in June

  • Single-family home sales rebounded from two consecutive monthly declines, jumping 15.7 percent year-over-year with 9,328 units sold;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes grew from 50 to 56 days;
  • Total property sales soared 18.3 percent with 11,153 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume climbed 15.1 percent to $3.3 billion;
  • Single-family home sales rebounded from two consecutive monthly declines, jumping 15.7 percent year-over-year with 9,328 units sold;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes grew from 50 to 56 days;
  • Total property sales soared 18.3 percent with 11,153 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume climbed 15.1 percent to $3.3 billion;
  • The single-family home median price set a new record high of $262,000 as it rose 3.6 percent year-over year;
  • The single-family home average price declined 0.6 percent to $319,881;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.2-months supply, down from 4.3 months last June and below the national inventory level of 4.8 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales reversed three monthly declines, rising 1.9 percent, with the average price down 5.4 percent to $212,216 and the median price down 1.8 percent to $174,350;
  • Single-family home rentals jumped 15.3 percent with the average rent down 1.0 percent to $1,906;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases was unchanged with the average rent up 7.9 percent to $1,731.

Noteworthy News – June 2020

July 7th, 2020|Newsletters|

CORONAVIRUS AND AILING ENERGY INDUSTRY CONTINUE TO IMPACT HOUSTON REAL ESTATE IN MAY

Pandemic and slumping oil prices combine to drive closed home sales down for a second straight month, however leading indicators show positive signs

HOUSTON — (June 10, 2020) — Houston home sales fell for a second straight month in May as the impact of COVID-19 and related stay-at-home orders continued to play out throughout the market. Growing consumer interest in in-person open houses and property showings, as well as an increase in offers to purchase, demonstrated improving market conditions. The slumping energy industry limited buyers in the luxury home market, which affected the overall average price of single-family homes across the region. Predicting the future of the market remains a challenge, and just this week, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the United States has been in a deep recession since February.

Homes in every pricing category suffered losses, with the steepest declines at the low and high ends of the market. Homes priced below $100,000 dropped more than 37 percent while those priced above $750,000 plunged more than 56 percent. Year-to-date sales are now running 4.3 percent behind 2019’s record pace. Leases of single-family homes were the bright spot in May, jumping nearly 12 percent.

According to the latest monthly Market Update from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), 6,671 single-family homes sold in May compared to 8,359 a year earlier. That translated to a 20.2 percent decline – the second consecutive monthly decline since the pandemic struck the market. The lower sales volume, particularly among high-end homes, took a toll on average sales price numbers, however strong demand in the mid-priced market kept the median price of homes statistically flat. The single-family home average price dropped 7.4 percent to $298,199 while the median price dipped just0.4 percent to $249,000. The last time home prices saw declines was in January 2018.

Sales of all property types totaled 7,917, down 20.7 percent from May 2019. Total dollar volume for the month fell 25.9 percent to slightly more than $2.2 billion.

“May delivered another mixed bag of data for the Houston housing market given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on top of strains in the oil patch and the broader recession,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “We will eventually work our way through these challenges, and already see positive indicators in the form of strong rental activity, solid pending sales numbers and steady attendance at property showings across greater Houston. Historically low interest rates still make conditions appealing to would-be buyers.”

For the latest weekly report on housing market trends throughout the greater Houston area, please see the HAR Weekly Activity Snapshot for the week ending June 8, available HERE as a downloadable PDF file.

Lease Property Update

Consumers snapped up rental homes in strong numbers in May. Leases of single-family homes surged 11.9 percent year-over-year. However, leases of townhomes and condominiums slid 4.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was down 2.8 percent to $1,822 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was fell 4.6 percent to $1,586.

May Monthly Market Comparison

The lingering coronavirus pandemic layered on top of strains in the energy sector weighed heavily on the Houston real estate market for a second consecutive month in May. Single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all fell compared to May 2019. Pending sales, however, jumped 23.1 percent. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, was down 8.3 percent.

With a slowdown in new listings to the marketplace, single-family homes inventory shrank, registering a 3.5-months supply in May versus 4.1-months a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 4.1-months supply, according to the most recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales fell 20.2 percent in May, with 6,671 units sold throughout greater Houston compared to 8,359 a year earlier. That marked the second straight monthly decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with additional impact from the strained energy industry. On a year-to-date basis, sales now lag behind last year’s record pace by 4.3 percent. Pricing saw its first declines since January of 2018. The average price dropped 7.4 percent to $298,199. The median price was down a fractional 0.4 percent to $249,000.

Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, rose slightly from 54 to 58. Inventory registered a 3.5-months supply compared to 4.1 months a year earlier and is below the current national inventory level of 4.1 months recently reported by NAR.

Broken out by housing segment, May sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 37.7 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 26.1 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: decreased 16.2 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: decreased 15.3 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: decreased 29.0 percent
  • $750,000 and above: decreased 56.3 percent

HAR also breaks out sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,114 in May, down 28.2 percent compared to the same month last year. The average sales price fell 8.9 percent to $287,606 while the median sales price dropped 2.1 percent to $235,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Townhome and condominium sales, which took a hit in April along with the single-family segment, experienced another dramatic fall in May, plunging 36.0 percent. A total of 417 units sold compared to 652 one year earlier. The average price tumbled 2.3 percent to $206,146 while the median price rose 2.9 percent to $175,000. Inventory grew slightly from a 4.5-months supply to 4.6 months.

Houston Real Estate Highlights in May

  • Single-family home sales fell 20.2 percent year-over-year, with 6,671 units sold, marking the second straight month of declines fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes grew from 54 to 58 days;
  • Total property sales dropped 20.7 percent, with 7,917 units sold;
  • Total dollar volume dove 25.9 percent to $2.23 billion;
  • The single-family home average price fell 7.4 percent to $298,199, the first decline since January 2018;
  • The single-family home median price was statistically flat at $249,000;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.5-months supply, down from 4.1 months last May and below the national inventory level of 4.1 months;
  • Townhome/condominium sales dropped 36.0 percent, with the average price down 2.3 percent to $206,146 and the median price up 2.9 percent to $175,000;
  • Single-family home rentals jumped 11.9 percent with the average rent down 2.8 percent to $1,822;
  • Volume of townhome/condominium leases fell 4.6 percent with the average rent down 4.6 percent to $1,586.