The Houston market has rebounded from slower sales through most of the year. 2016 ended setting new sales records both in number of properties (89,296, +2.3%) and dollar volume ($24.55 B, +4.2%) sold. Higher priced homes above $500K have especially rebounded. We now have a 3.2 month supply of housing for sale, compared to 3.3 months a year ago, and having peaked at 4.0 months supply in July. The national average is 4.6 months, so our market is much tighter than most. We currently have 33,802 properties for sale, up 7.1% from December 2015.
The median price also continues to go up, where half the houses sell for more, and half for less. The December median sales price was $225,903, which is 2.7% from a year ago, and indicating that prices are still increasing though moderately. Pending sales are up 11.7% from a year ago, indicating that the market has forward momentum.
Sales of houses priced under $80,000 were down 16.6 % from December 2015, as a result of little inventory available in this price range. Sales of $80,000 to $150,000 houses were down 8.0 %, again a sign of too little inventory rather than market softness. We continue to find that entry level priced homes attract multiple offers the first few days on the market. Most buyers are using FHA loans, and so the tighter appraisals are limiting what sellers can get for the property compared to what buyers are willing to pay.
Houses selling for $150,000 to $250,000 saw a 19.5 % increase in number sold. Houses selling for $250,000 to $500,000 increased 17.5%, while those $500,000 and above decreased by 22.7%. Certain product such as inner loop townhomes are generally selling at 10 to 15% discounts to asking prices / what the sellers expected to get due to new luxury apartment over building as an alternative to ownership.
The number of single family home leased through HAR.com went up 5.2% from December 2015, and the average rent dropped slightly to $1690 from a year ago.