Houston Area Housing Market

Home sales remain on track for another record year


HOUSTON — (October 9, 2019) — Houston home sales registered the seventh positive month of 2019 in September as consumers continued to take advantage of low mortgage interest rates, keeping a market that normally slows down this time of year buzzing. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of single-family homes across the Houston area totaled 7,035 in September. That is up 9.5 percent year-over-year and marks the second-largest one-month sales volume of the year. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 3.8 percent ahead of 2018’s record volume. 

For the second month in a row, homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 range saw the greatest sales gains, jumping 18.7 percent compared to September 2018. That was followed by homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 range, which rose 12.6 percent. The luxury segment, which is comprised of homes priced from $750,000 and up, declined 2.6 percent.

The median price of a single-family home (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) reached the highest level ever for a September, climbing 4.7 percent to $244,000. The average price also achieved a September record, rising 1.5 percent to $298,947.

Buyers have had a more plentiful supply of homes from which to choose in 2019 compared to last year. In September, housing inventory edged up to a 4.1-months supply versus 4.0 months in September 2018. So far this year, the peak of inventory was reached in June and July when it registered a 4.3-months supply. 

Sales of all property types jumped 9.5 percent in September, totaling 8,430 units. This comes on the heels of two consecutive months of record-high total sales that broke the 10,000 mark for the first time – the highest being July with 10,444 units sold. Total dollar volume for the month of September climbed 10.8 percent to $2.4 billion.  

Freddie Mac this week reported an average 3.64 percent rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans – down more than one percent from a year ago. Freddie Mac economists predict the fourth quarter of 2019 will average a 3.7 percent interest rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans, with 2019 claiming a 4.0 percent average overall. Fannie Mae expects the year to average out at 3.9 percent, while the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts 3.8 percent.

Lease Property Update

Lease properties staged another strong month in September. Single-family home leases jumped 6.9 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums rose 1.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was up 1.5 percent at $1,838 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums was unchanged at $1,589. 

September Monthly Market Comparison

All the measurements for the Houston housing market held to positive territory in September. Single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing, total dollar volume and inventory all increased compared to September 2018. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 7,285. That represents an 18.9 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 7.3 percent to 44,172.

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