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Flash sale craze alters Houston real estate market: City among tops in nation in new trend

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See a "For Sale" sign in front of the house of your dreams? You'd better act fast. Picasa

See a "For Sale" sign in front of the house of your dreams? You'd better act fast — a new report says that Houston has one of the fastest housing markets in the United States.

The data comes from Seattle-based real estate firm Redfin, which has coined the term "Real Estate Flash Sales" for homes that go under contact within only hours of listing. Houston ranks No. 3 on the nationwide list, counting 188 flash sales within the past five months. 

Dallas and Austin weren't far behind, at Nos. 4 and 5 in the ranking, with 184 and 163 flash sales during the five-month time period.

 Houston ranks No. 3 on the nationwide list, counting 188 flash sales within the past five months.  

What's more, although that half-a-million-dollar teardown in the Heights may seem a bit steep, another study has found Houston's housing prices to be remarkably affordable. 

ZipRealty, an online real estate broker, compared median home sale prices to median household income to determine that Texas metro areas are the best places to find a real estate bargain. Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 1 on its list of the Most Affordable Housing Markets of 2013, followed by Houston at No. 2 and Austin at No. 7. 

In DFW, where the median household income is $47,418 and the median home price is $249,950, the ratio is 5.27; in Houston, it's 5.43 (considering a $44,761 median income and a $243,000 median home price). Austin's median household income is $48,950, and a median home price is $300,000, yielding a 6.13 ratio. 

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