Mansions in Houston are selling like hotcakes.
The strongest segment of the market is for homes priced at more than $500,000, which includes the upscale houses in River Oaks, Memorial and West University Place.
“I thank God every day I’m in Houston, Texas,” said John Daugherty, of John Daugherty Realtors, which specializes in Houston’s upper-end homes. “The city is hopping again. The activity reminds me of the early ‘80s.”
“I thank God every day I’m in Houston, Texas,” John Daugherty said. “The city is hopping again. The activity reminds me of the early ‘80s.”
The Houston Association of Realtors reports an overall 14-percent increase in home sales over June of last year. But for homes priced more than $500,000, sales were up a whopping 27.2 percent.
Daugherty said prices are not escalating wildly, but the city’s strong economy is bringing a lot momentum to the Houston housing market with growth in the energy industry. Houston has added about 90,000 new jobs over the last year and the Greater Houston Partnership projects that 2012 may be a record year for job growth — and that translates into strong home sales.
Inner Loop construction activity is picking up and upscale properties that are market-priced have been getting multiple offers in some cases, Daugherty said.
Daugherty, who has been in realty for more than four decades, said the upper-end housing market is typically a leading indicator, demonstrating trends that will be followed by the mid-priced home market.
“Being in this business for 46 years, my market has always been the first to come back,” he said.
For the month of June, $1.7 billion worth of residential properties were sold — the highest monthly sales total since August 2007, the Houston Association of Realtors said.
Inventory of homes for sale is exceptionally low. Only 42, 207 properties were listed for sale in June, down about 18 percent from last June. The 5.5 months inventory of single-family homes is at the lowest level in more than five years.
Foreclosures are down significantly from last year. The decline of the low-priced foreclosed homes, along with the strong sales in the upper-end of the market are pushing the price statistics upward dramatically.
The realty association reports June’s average home price of $236,656 was an all-time record for Houston as was the median single-family home price of $171,000.
Sales of condos and town homes were also strong, up 18 percent over last June.
The market for single-family rental homes is exceptional. Rental rates in Houston reached all-time highs, with the average rent of single-family homes at $1,641 per month.