Houston’s home sales soared 17 percent in February, the ninth consecutive month of positive gains for the local housing market, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.
Pending sales — an indicator of future deals — were up 13.5 percent in February from February a year ago.
“Overall, the market is good and inventory is way down,” said Shad Bogany of ERA Bogany Properties. “Homes that are priced right are moving very quickly.”
A condo in the Mosaic tower near Hermann Park drew seven offers and eventually was sold for $27,000 above asking price, Bogany said.
A Westbury home listed for sale by Bogany has drawn three offers from would-be buyers. Condos near the Medical Center have also attracted multiple buyers recently.
A condo in the Mosaic tower near Hermann Park drew seven offers and eventually was sold for $27,000 above asking price.
In many outlying suburbs, however, sales are not as brisk. The supply of foreclosures has pushed downward on prices and as home builders start to re-tool their production, the market for suburban resales feels the pinch.
The Houston Association of Realtors said 23 percent of the properties sold in February were homes that had been foreclosed on previously.
Overall, home prices have been lagging in the market recovery. February's single-family home median price dropped 0.7 percent to $149,900, from $150,990. (The median price is the midpoint where half the homes sold for more and half for less.) The average price fell 4.6 percent from February 2011 to $201,945.
The Realtors association reported 3,832 single-family homes sold in the Houston area in February, a 16.9 percent increase over 3,277 houses sold in February 2011.
"The Houston housing market continues to show welcomed strength at the end of February 2012," said Wayne Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. "In addition to all the positive indicators in HAR's February report, Houston is reaping the benefits of great economic news in the form of more than 76,000 jobs created over the past year, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
"It stands to reason that with new jobs being filled, these employees and their families will need housing."
The inventory of homes for sale totaled 42,206 properties at the end of February, a 15 percent decrease from February of last year. The inventory has reached its lowest point since December 2008.