Houston home sales decline year-over-year in September

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For the second time this year, home sales in the Greater Houston area dropped in September compared to the same month last year, according to the Houston Association of Realtors latest monthly report.

Single-family home sales in September declined 5.8 percent, from 6,953 in 2017 to 6,548 in 2018, per the report. Despite the dip, HAR noted that the median and average prices of homes sold were the highest ever for a September. Also, home sales are running 5.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record volume.

“With tight inventory, rising interest rates and families focused on back-to-school, it was not a huge surprise to see market activity slow down at this time,” HAR Chairwoman Kenya Burrell-VanWormer said in the press release.

September’s cooling trends

September sales of all property types dropped 4.4 percent year-over-year to 7,842 in September, per the report. The total dollar volume in September also decreased 3.5 percent to $2.2 billion.

All housing segments sales decreased—except the luxury homes, or those priced at $750,000 and above, which increased 2.7 percent. The largest drop was for homes priced between $100,000 and $149,999. Sales in that segment dipped 15.4 percent year-over-year.

For the rest of the housing segments, September sales performed as follows:

  • $1 to $99,999 decreased 12.4 percent
  • $150,000 to $249,999 decreased 2 percent
  • $250,000 to $499,999 decreased 6.2 percent
  • $500,000 to $749,999 decreased 3.2 percent

Days on the market, or the average number of days it took to sell a home, was 52 days, up from 49 last month. Inventory remains constrained at a 4-month supply, up only slightly from the 3.9-months supply a year earlier. For comparison, the national inventory is currently at a 4.3-months supply.

The single-family home median price for September was $232,500, a 0.2 percent increase from the same month last year, the press release states. The average price of homes sold jumped 1.2 percent year-over-year to $295,765.

In contrast to cooling single-family home sales, townhome and condominium sales rose 6.1 percent year-over-year, per the release. The average price of these units increased 6.9 percent to $215,110.

Officials confident in future home market

Although September’s housing market was “mixed,” Houston’s robust employment will help drive residential real estate sales for the rest of 2018, per the HAR report.

The Greater Houston Partnership’s October Economy at a Glance report stated that in the 12 months ending in August, metro Houston created 110,200 jobs—a 3.7 percent increase and the strongest 12-month pace in more than three years.

“The Houston economy is strong,” Burrell-VanWormer said in the release. “As we head into the fall months, it will definitely take a healthy supply of homes and some pricing moderation to keep prospective buyers engaged in the market.”

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