a home run year

Houston home sales shatter records in unprecedented year

Houston home sales shatter records in unprecedented year

HOU_11 Crestwood Drive
Luxury homes flew off the market in 2020. Photo courtesy of Compass

Houstonians don’t need a reminder on how brutal the pandemic was last year. But the despair of 2020 certainly didn’t affect local real estate, according to a recent report.

In 2020, Houston-area home sales sailed by 2019, surpassing 2019 by more than 10 percent, according to data released by Houston Area Realtors (HAR). 

Some 96,151single-family homes sold in 2020, according to HAR’s 2020 annual market report. Overall sales of all property types for the year totaled 115,523, which represents an 11.6 percent increase over 2019’s record volume. It also  marks only the second time in history that total property sales broke the 100,000 level, HAR notes.

Charting more massive growth, HAR adds that total dollar volume for 2020 exploded 18.1 percent — to a record-breaking $35.3 billion. 

Not surprisingly, stay-at-home orders stalled home sales in April and May. However, sales increased each month for the remainder of 2020, with single-family home sales jumping 25.5 percent in December ,compared to December 2019.

Year-to-date, the average price of a home rose 5.9 percent to $324,069; the median price increased 6.1 percent to $260,000. Meanwhile, home inventory was down to its lowest level in history by the end of the year.

Just what were buyers snatching up? Homes priced between $500,000 and $750,000 sold the most, at a whopping 80.8-percent. Luxury homes (priced at $750,000 and up), came in second place, climbing 54.0 percent. Home sales in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range rose 44.6 percent, per HAR’s data.

“When the coronavirus pandemic struck, we expected the real estate business to hit a brick wall and never fathomed the possibility of 2020 becoming a record year for the Houston market,” said HAR chairman Richard Miranda, of Keller Williams Platinum, in a statement. “As we enter 2021, we find ourselves in critical need of inventory if we are to sustain a healthy pace of home sales.”