Despite Hurricane Harvey, Houston-area real estate sales rise year-over-year in July

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It has been nearly a year since Hurricane Harvey hit, although the Houston-area real estate market is still showing improvement from 2017, according to a Houston Association of Realtors report.

HAR’s monthly report from July stated that year-to-date home sales are 3.4 percent ahead of the 2017 record, although the July real estate market has taken a slight dip from last month’s record-setting sales volume.

Real estate rising

Single-family home sales in the Greater Houston area saw a 9.1 percent increase in July from July 2017, with 8,108 homes being sold last month alone, according to a HAR press release, compared to 7,433 homes in July 2017.

The median prices of a single-family home rose nearly 6 percent to $243,500, while the average price increased 2.4 percent to $305,910. Those are the highest figures ever for a July, the press release states.

Sales within the luxury market—which consists of homes priced $750,000 and above—saw a 6.3 percent increase from last year’s numbers. However, the segment of the market with the most growth—homes priced in the $250,000 to $499,999 range—experienced a 21 percent growth from 2017.

Town home and condominium sales rose 6.1 percent in total, with the average price of town homes and condos rising 6.9 percent to $215,110, according to HAR. Days on the market, or the average number of days it took to sell a home, stayed the same from June at 48 days.

Officials cite job market for growth

Although Harvey hit Southeast Texas less than a year ago, HAR officials said they believe it has not negatively affected the real estate market over the summer. HAR officials attributed July’s growth to the job market in Houston.

“Consumers are keeping the Houston housing market one of the most vibrant in the U.S., despite low inventory and concerns about affordability,” HAR Chairwoman Kenya Burrell-VanWormer said in the press release. “Much of that is reflective of a healthy job market that continues to draw new hires to Houston from across the country and around the world.”

The Greater Houston area created a total of 62,900 jobs in 2017 and was projected to see an additional 45,500 jobs added in 2018, according to Jenny Philip, a research director with the Greater Houston Partnership, who spoke about projected job growth at a Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce luncheon in March. The projected job growth has led population growth experts to estimate that 500,000-800,000 people will move to the area between 2017 and 2022, Phillip said at the luncheon.

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