Houston’s housing market recorded year-over-year increases in number of sales, prices, inventory and more in March, while leases skyrocketed in the rental market, according to the Houston Association of Realtors’ monthly report. However, the HAR report does note that the housing market was facing a lot of uncertainty over oil prices in March 2016, when both the number of homes sold and the average price decreased.
HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties – COURTESY
There were 7,013 single-family homes sold last month, up 11.7 percent from 6,278 in March 2016. Total property sales increased 10.5 percent to 8,495, and the total dollar volume from all sales was up 15.7 percent to $2.27 billion. The increases in average and median sales prices for single-family homes were less drastic. The average hit $284,279, up 4.6 percent from last year, and the medium was up 5.8 percent to $227,530. Both figures are records for a March in Houston.
All pricing segments saw increases in sales except for homes priced $149,999 and less. Homes priced between $250,000 and $499,999 saw the biggest jump in sales, up 23.1 percent year over year, and those priced at $750,000 and above came in second with a 19 percent increase.
Forward-looking indicators also saw big year-over-year increases. Total active listings were up 9.9 percent, and single-family pending sales were up 16.7 percent. Single-family inventory increased to 3.8 months in March, up from a 3.5-month supply both the previous month and a year earlier. 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. Nationwide, inventory stands at a 3.8-month supply.
Meanwhile, rental demand skyrocketed, with a 36.6 percent increase in single-family home leases and a 37.8 percent in townhome/condominium leases. However, the average rent declined for both single-family homes, down 4.9 percent to $1,647, and townhomes/condominiums, down 5.6 percent to $1,487.
“Houston home sales blossomed in March, but we also saw tremendous activity in the rental market,” HAR Chair Cindy Hamann with Heritage Texas Properties said in HAR’s press release. “A healthy pace of new listings helped inventory levels grow, which is critical if we are to maintain the positive momentum.”
What does it convey to the Consumers?
New Home Buyer beware of the sales pitch. With the strong housing market, now developers are poise to start their marketing more fiercely and increase the price depending on the demand in the area. So don’t fall for it, you should still able to bargain since it doesn’t talk about the new home sales, it talks about SFH in general which includes resale homes. Due to less inventory, Resale home prices did go up in many Houston areas.
Investors, it’s going to be lot more competition with fight over less inventory in the market. It doesn’t mean you need to pay more which you all know. Do your numbers and stay away from pushy competitive properties. Beware of the Wholesalers who push you with high margin deals. Do your deals yourself by analyzing the market well.
I kept hearing why the market is still strong when Oil job market slumped last year because of the Houston job market is diversified compared to the past. I don’t agree to it 100%. It is better but like Dallas. We are still dependent on oil job market. Truth is last year job market fluctuation wasn’t really bad and oil prices stabilized which helped not to spread the negativity and kept the market floating.
As I always, Do your due diligence with help of realtor or mentor and buy it right…