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Property Management Blog

Houston Real Estate Market Update for September 2015

September, 2015 MLS sales data shows continuing strong sales for more than four years since bottoming out in 2010, though the market is clearly loosening up from record short supply the past two years. Supply of homes for sale is up 17.6% from September of 2014. One year ago, there were 28,946 active listings, or a 2.9 month supply. This September, there are 34,041 properties available, which represents a 3.5 month inventory, up almost 21% from a year ago. Nationally, 5.2 months of inventory is available, and 6 months is considered a balanced market, so tight inventory here continues to drive up prices.

Prices are up 4.5% from September a year ago, with the median price now standing at $208,000 compared to $199,000 a year ago. Three years ago, the median price was $65,000, so the median price is up 26% in three years. Most prices have now recovered or exceeded their pre-recession 2007 values. 

The number of sales overall was up 2.2% from a year ago, but not in all price ranges. Sales in the under $80,000 range were down 23% due to very limited inventory, and down 16.5% for the same reason in the $80,000 t $150,000 range preferred by most land lord investors. Developers are not building more sub $150,000 product, so the demand from entry level buyers as well as landlord investors is causing bidding wars in this price range.

Sales in the $150,000 to $250,000 range were up 15.6%, and in the $250,000 to $500,000 range 16%. Sales of over $500,000 homes is down 10.4%, likely showing the affect lower oil prices are starting to have on our market. Foreclosures make up a minimal number of sales as the distress market has dried up.

Demand for rental property is flat, with an dramatic increase in available inventory putting prices under pressure to get properties leased during a slower time of year. The average rental price for leasing through the MLS increased 2.3% to $1792 per month from a year ago.

Investor loan rates are at about under 4.5% for a 30 year fixed rate, making cash flow $400 + in excess of PITI, HOA and Management costs per month.