Houston on Top
Houston area property sales have now remained positive for 16 straight months. September’s flurry of home buying has reduced inventory and created a 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 fall and the holiday season approaches. Home sales notoriously taper off during this time so declining inventory should not pose any problems. For those selling a home, current market conditions create excellent opportunities. Interest rates continue to fall to record lows. Conclusion – it remains an excellent time to buy. The single-family home average price increased 4.7 percent year-over-year to $220,992, the highest level for a September in Houston. The median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—climbed 6.1 percent to $165,000, also a record high for a September in Houston. The housing news locally, regionally, and nationally is extremely positive.
In the latest edition from The Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2013 Report, Texas is on top for real estate investment potential, according to the 900 industry experts surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Houston moved up to No. 5 on in this year’s ranking of the top 20 markets to watch, up three spots from 2012 thanks to energy-related employment. The Bayou City saw massive job growth between 2007 and 2013, adding more than 300,000 jobs during this period.
In addition to home sales, the Houston apartment market, driven by positive job growth, is one of the most impressive multi-family markets in the nation. Occupancy is rising. Rents are up. And new construction is moving ahead at a tempered pace that is unlikely to result in extreme overbuilding.
“Houston is a winner,” said one survey respondent, and although the rank for homebuilding prospects fell by one spot from last year’s ranking, the industrial sector is ripe with buying opportunities. While housing in some parts of the country is still struggling, Houston has seen property sales grow, largely due to a strong energy industry and relocations into the area. Local job growth has been more than twice the U.S. average.
“MLS Press Release.” MLS Press Release. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.
“Houston Real Estate Observer.” Houston Real Estate Observer. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.
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