America's Bright Spot
Houston's real estate rebound: Home sales finish up in 2011 with seven straightmonths of gains
Houston’s housing market rebounded impressively in 2011 as the city registered a four percent gain for the year, according to annual totals released Tuesday by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR).
The supply of homes for sale dropped sharply, further strengthening the local housing market. Only 42,083 properties were listed for sale at the end of 2011, down 14.1 percent from a year earlier.
"2011 ended on a very promising note," said Wayne Stroman, HAR chairman and President of Stroman Realty. “The key to sustaining that positive momentum in 2012 will be continued improvement in Houston's employment numbers."
It is the seventh consecutive month in which Houston home sales increased.
Another telling statistic was expressed in what the association calls “months inventory” — a measurement of how long it would take to deplete the current inventory of homes for sale based on sales activity in the prior 12 months. In Houston, it would take 5.8 months to completely sell off all of the homes for sale — a 20-percent improvement over the last year.
During the recent economic downturn in some hard hit parts of the country, there was over a year’s supply of homes for sale.
The HAR said home sales in December were up 7.2 percent over December of 2010. It was the seventh consecutive month in which home sales increased.
Despite the improvement, home prices are not showing significant gains. The median price of a Houston home sold in 2011 was $155,000, up 0.7 percent over the median home price in 2010. The median price is the midpoint representing that half the homes sold for more and half for less.