Excerpted from HAR’s 1/10/2018 press release Glenn A. Dickson
HOUSTON — (January 10, 2018) — Despite the devastating assault that Hurricane Harvey waged on the greater Houston area last summer – from which many property owners are still recovering – the Houston real estate market set new records by the time the sun set on 2017. Single-family home sales for the full year rose 3.5 percent compared to 2016, the previous record year. However, as 2018 gets underway, the supply of housing remains constrained. Inventory had begun to reach more balanced levels when Harvey’s widespread flooding sent affected residents scrambling for whatever undamaged rental and sales homes were available to provide safe shelter for themselves and their families.
According to the latest report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of all property types in 2017 totaled 94,726 units, a 3.5-percent increase over 2016’s volume, which was 91,530. Total dollar volume for single-family homes sold in 2017 rose 6.5 percent to $23 billion.
Broken out by housing segment, December sales performed as follows:
- $1 - $79,999: increased 5.7 percent
- $80,000 - $149,999: decreased 7.3 percent
- $150,000 - $249,999: increased 4.5 percent
- $250,000 - $499,999: increased 9.1 percent
- $500,000 and above: unchanged
- $750,000 and above: decreased 11.2 percent
December single-family home sales rose 4.1 percent to 6,875 versus December 2016. The strongest sales performance took place among homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000. Total property sales for the month climbed 3.5 percent to 8,125.
The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 1.7 percent to $230,000. That marks the highest median price ever for a December. The average price declined 0.6 percent to $292,174.
Months of inventory began the year at a 3.3-months supply, and while it grew to a 4.3-months supply just before Harvey struck the region, it ended 2017 at a 3.2-months supply. Months of inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 3.4-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The number of leases of single-family homes fell 3.6 percent with average rent up 3.3 percent to $1,745.