The final numbers for 2017 are in, and Houston saw a record-breaking year of home sales. Sales were up 3.5% over 2016, with a total of 94,726 unites sold. The total dollar volume for 2017 sales was $23 billion, an increase of 6.5% over 2016.
According to HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JP Morgan Chase:
“No one could ever have imagined 2017 turning out to be a record-setting year for the Houston real estate market, which had weathered the effects of the energy slump only to have Harvey strike such a devastating blow. We know that many are still working tirelessly to rebuild their lives after Harvey, but overall, this clearly illustrates the incredible resilience of the people and the economy of Houston, Texas. We also know that some neighborhoods are performing better than others, so it’s always advisable to consult a Realtor when thinking about buying or selling a home.”
Single-family home sales in December rose 4.1% over December 2016 to a total of 6,875. Homes in the $250,000-500,000 price range saw the strongest performance.
Inventory levels are the limiting factor in regards to December home sales. Inventory levels were just reaching a good balance point when Harvey destroyed thousands of homes overnight, dramatically decreasing the number of homes available for purchase at the same time there was a rush of new buyers trying to find a habitable place to live, quickly. Rental activity was at an all-time high in 2017, largely due to the hurricane.
By the end of 2017, inventory levels were at 3.2 months supply, down form 4.3 months supply just before Harvey hit. With any luck, inventory levels will begin to normalize again soon as reconstruction projects start coming to a close and repaired homes are back on the market.
What does all this mean for you?
It’s a SELLER’s market!
If you’re in the market for a home, expect to spend a little extra time finding a place due to low inventory, and be prepared for multiple buyers to bid against you. Depending on your neighborhood, you will probably get to enjoy a seller’s market in Houston! Work with your real estate agent to figure out how to leverage this information to your advantage and get your house sold effectively in today’s market. As always, Circa Real Estate here to help guide you through the process from start to finish and answer any questions.