Updated Housing Report

Housing Report shows a continued rise in sales!

National Housing Report for September shows things are looking good!  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales index for July was up 1.3% over June, 1.4% higher than a year ago, registering its second highest reading this year. This is a measure of contracts signed on existing homes, so NAR analysts see those closings picking up in the Fall, driving a strong finish to the year. The current NAR forecast is for a 2.8% jump in existing home sales for 2016, to 5.38 million units. That’s what the NAR believes we can achieve!

More great housing news… The National Housing Report also showed that the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that for the week ending August 26, 2016, mortgage applications rose 2.8%.  Further they stated the jump wasn’t just from housing refinancing, but that the purchase applications were up 1%. June’s Case-Shiller Home Price index held the annual increase at 5.1%. The Index Committee’s chairman feels, “Overall, residential real estate and housing is in good shape.” Wall Street agrees. Thursday, the S&P 500 stock index gave real estate its own industry sector. Real estate housing stocks had been lumped with banks and insurance firms, but they’re now a bigger player, accounting for 3.5% of the global equities market.

Houston Housing Report Update:

The pool of buyers continues to grow, largely a result of the city’s prosperous economy. The growth is reflected in prices.  The median price for a single-family home in August was $206,000, up 10.4 percent over a year earlier. More single-family construction should help ease the market’s tightness, though it will take time.  Builders developed 34,000 houses last year and through are on track for only a few more this year.

Even thought the greater Houston real estate market experienced its first sales decline in six months in July, it is anticipated that the fourth quarter will end with a rise!

According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), a total of 7,204 homes sold in July compared to 7,898 a year earlier. That represents a drop of 8.8 percent, the first decline since January. However, on a year-to-date basis, home sales are still up about one percent compared to this point in 2015.

Inventory levels continue to outpace last year, rising from a 3.5-months supply to 4.0 months. That is the largest supply of homes since November 2012 when it stood at 4.1 months.

“We never like to see a decline in home sales, but it’s helpful to remember that our comparisons each month are to a record year in 2015,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “July was the first time in several months when even mid-range housing saw declines. It’s hard to identify a single cause for the drop in sales, whether it’s a possible trickle-down effect of falling oil prices or prospective buyers holding out, but Houston’s housing market is still healthy overall, and HAR will continue to monitor conditions as we transition into the fall months.”

The single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 4.1 percent to $230,000. That is the highest median price ever for a July and the second highest of all time. The highest median ever was $233,000, reached in June of this year. The average price declined a fractional 0.5 percent in July to $292,316.

July sales of all property types in Houston totaled 8,571, down 8.6 percent from the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold in July fell 9.0 percent to $2.4 billion.

July Monthly Market Comparison

Houston’s monthly housing indicators were mixed in July compared to a year earlier. On a year-over-year basis, single-family homes sales and total property sales were down along with total dollar volume, the median price reached a record high for a July while the average price dropped slightly and inventory grew to the largest level in four years.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 7,979, an increase of 11.4 percent compared to last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, at the end of July climbed 12.7 percent from July 2015 to 37,952.

Single-family homes inventory jumped from a 3.5-months supply to 4.0 months, the highest level since November 2012 when it stood at 4.1 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 4.6-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Total property sales 9,374 8,571 -8.6%
Total dollar volume $2,605,598,049 $2,370,776,221 -9.0%
Total active listings 33,670 37,952 12.7%
Single-family home sales 7,898 7,204 -8.8%
Single-family average sales price $293,772 $292,316 -0.5%
Single-family median sales price $221,000 $230,000 4.1%
Single-family months inventory* 3.5 4.0 17.2%
Single-family pending sales** 7,165 7,979 11.4%

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.  For more information please go to http://www.har.com