Houston Real Estate ended on a positive note for 2011

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December marks the seventh consecutive month of increased home sales; 2011 bests 2010 in sales volume and pricing

HOUSTON — (January 17, 2012) — After several months in which home sales figures were skewed by the effects of the 2010 homebuyer tax credit, the Houston real estate market concluded 2011 solidly in the black. December marked the seventh straight month of increased home sales and the month contained a host of indicators suggesting a healthy start to the new year. Prices of single-family homes across Greater Houston for full-year 2011 were up slightly from 2010. The median price reached an all-time high for a December in Houston and months inventory hit its lowest level in two years.

According to the latest monthly data compiled by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), December sales of single-family homes throughout the Houston market climbed 7.2 percent when compared to December 2010. Positive sales activity was recorded in every segment of the housing market except the luxury segment—those homes priced from $500,000 and above—which was unchanged year-over-year.

The average price of a single-family home was statistically flat at $219,791 compared to December 2010 while the December single-family home median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—rose 1.9 percent from one year earlier to $160,000.

Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) increased 6.1 percent in December compared to December 2010. Foreclosures comprised 20.5 percent of all property sales, remaining consistent with the levels they maintained for much of 2011. December’s median price of foreclosures held steady on a year-over-year basis at $82,550.

December sales of all property types in Houston totaled 5,460, up 6.6 percent compared to December 2010. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month increased 7.5 percent year-over-year to $1.16 billion. On an annualized basis, sales of all property types were up 4.3 percent compared to 2010 levels while total dollar volume rose 5.2 percent to $13 billion.

“2011 ended on a very promising note,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and President/CEO of Stroman Realty.””We spent a good part of the year struggling to accurately gauge the market because we were comparing to accelerated sales in 2010 that resulted from the homebuyer tax credit. Once we distanced ourselves from that period, we saw clear indications of a healthy market with a balanced supply of housing inventory and strong pricing—conditions that put Houston in an enviable position compared to many housing markets around the country. The key to sustaining that positive momentum in 2012 will be continued improvement in Houston’s employment numbers.”

For more information, please visit: http://www.har.com/mls/dispPressRelease.cfm?MONTH=01&YEAR=12

Source: Houston Association of Realtors