Houston, You’re Still the One
National, state, and local economies gauge a vast majority of their economic growth on the housing market. If this is true, the news is very good for Houston. 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. Inventory has been driven down as a result of the hungry market. 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. Homes in all price ranges are selling but the higher end home is what has contributed to one of the biggest boost in home prices. Low interest rates and a healthy job market plays a big part in making the Houston and surrounding areas for attractive to home buyers.
For the first time in more than 10 years, the inventory of single-family homes fell below five months, dropping from 7.1 months a year ago to 4.9 months, a level the Houston market last observed in April 2002. Housing inventory has remained below a six-month supply since December 2011. For perspective, the national inventory of single-family homes is 6.4 months, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). A supply of less than six months is traditionally defined as a “seller’s market,” however buyers have been reaping the benefits of historically low mortgage interest rates.
Sales of townhouses and condominiums have increased significantly. The average price rose 8.1 percent to $170,434 while the median price increased 8.5 percent to $130,850. Months inventory dropped 32.8 percent year-over-year to 5.6 months compared to 8.3 months in August 2011.
Houston’s lease property market grew in August. Rentals of single-family homes rose 10.5 percent compared to August 2011, while year-over-year townhouse/condominium rentals edged up 2.7 percent. The average rent among single-family lease homes and townhouse/condominiums retreated slightly from the record levels they hit in July. The August average rent for a single-family home was $1,655 and it was $1,368 for a townhouse/condominium.
Reports continue to show Texas has one of the fastest rates of economic growth. Texas’ gross state product grew 3.31 percent during that time period to $1.15 trillion in 2011, according to the Business Journals’ On Numbers analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data. That ranks the state No. 4 for GSP growth. Houston, the largest city in the state of Texas, contributes significantly to the overall big picture of economic stability and growth. The surge in the housing market numbers is clear proof that Texas has what it takes and continues to be a national leader in economic prosperity. Good news for those buying and selling in the Houston area.
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Source: “MLS Press Release.” MLS Press Release. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.
“Texas in Top 5 for Goods and Services Growth.” – Houston Business Journal. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.
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