Houston home sales rose 27 percent in July, one of the largest monthly increases on record, as realty’s winning streak continued, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. Local home sales have increased 14 months in a row.
"The Houston real estate market is hot right now and doing extremely well. The inventory is going down and prices are going up,” said Houston Realtor Danny Frank of Turbo Realty of Texas. “People are moving to Houston and we are creating a lot of new jobs."
“Sales volume isn’t achieving the record levels we experienced in 2006, before the recession, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a market performing as well as Houston."
The Houston economy, with a boost from the energy industry, has added 84,000 jobs over the last 12 months, as the city extended its ranking as one of the nation’s strongest local economies.
Home sales are strong in The Woodlands, where Exxon Mobil is constructing a new corporate campus where 10,000 people will work. The large facility will stimulate home sales when it opens in a couple of years, bringing some 2,000 employees from Virginia.
A handful of high-level Exxon Mobil executives are believed to have purchased houses already in the exclusive Carlton Woods section of The Woodlands, but for the most part, the Exxon Mobil move has not made a significant impact yet on the realty market, said Betty Lips of Re/Max – The Woodlands & Spring.
People who are selling homes in The Woodlands have already upped their sales-price expectations, however, anticipating a surge in the market, Lips said. When the Exxon Mobil relocations occur, many of the resulting home sales are expected to be for houses priced at $350,000 or less, Lips said.
This summer, Houston’s real estate market is outperforming the nation, demonstrating a quick recovery from the downturn that gripped the market in recent years.
“Sales volume isn’t achieving the record levels we experienced in 2006, before the recession, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a market performing as well as Houston, even as the national housing recovery continues,” said Wayne Stroman, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors.
Houston has a 5.3 month supply of homes for sale. It’s the thinnest inventory since 2007. A year ago, Houston had 50,022 homes for sale, but that number dropped 16 percent over the last year to 41,860 listings in July of 2012.
People who are selling homes in The Woodlands have already upped their sales-price expectations, however, anticipating a surge in the market, Lips said.
Realtors report some homes in hot neighborhoods have been getting simultaneous, multiple offers.
Prices have been rising. The average price of a single-family home rose 3.7 percent from last July to $231,484, the highest level for a July in Houston and the third highest price of all time, the Realtors Association said. The median price – meaning half the homes sold for more and half for less – was $170,000 in July, up 6.3 percent from last year.
The upward trend for Houston real estate is not expected to subside soon. The association’s statistics showed pending sales for August, were up 11 percent, indicating the sales pace will continue to accelerate over the summer.