Houston Real Estate Market is Strong

In the second full month following Hurricane Harvey, Houston’s housing market is still seeing strong demand but tight supply. The Houston Association of Realtors reported Nov. 8 that single-family home sales totaled 6,381 in October, up 7.5 percent year over year. That marks the second month of increased sales following a major dip in August, when Harvey interfered with end-of-the-month closings. Sales increased among all homes priced at $150,000 and up, and the luxury segment — homes priced at $750,000 and up — saw the biggest year-over-year change, up 18.7 percent. Total property sales also were up 6.6 percent year over year to 7,614 in October, and the total dollar volume of all sales was up 10.8 percent to more than $2.07 billion. Rental demand also remained high, with leases of single-family homes and townhomes/condominiums up 13.6 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively.Not surprisingly, housing inventory is still constrained as flood-damaged houses have been pulled off the market and homeowners affected by Harvey have been adding to the demand. For October, HAR recorded a 3.9-month supply of inventory, up from a 3.8-month supply in October 2016 but down from the 4.3-month level reached in the weeks just before Harvey hit. Months of inventory estimates the number of months it would take to sell all the home listings on the market today based on the pace of sales over the past 12 months. For comparison, nationwide inventory stands at a 4.2-month supply.With increased demand and tight supply, both the median price and the average price for a single-family home in Houston set records for an October. The median increased 3.9 percent year over year to $226,491, and the average was up 2.7 percent to $285,858.Average rents were up in October, with a 2.8 percent increase to $1,776 for single-family homes and a 2.9 percent increase to $1,533 for townhomes and condominiums.“The overall Houston real estate market wasted little time recovering from Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, but we’d like to see supply grow to meet ongoing consumer demand for housing,” HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties said in a press release. “Hopefully, more balanced inventory levels can be restored by early in the new year.” cle text here.

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