Low interest rates and increased supply contributed to another positive month for the Houston real estate market, the fourth consecutive month of sales growth. May’s good numbers were led by the luxury segment (homes priced over $750,000) just like the month of April. Housing inventory hit the highest point since August 2017, taking some of the pressure off of the summer housing pinch that tends to occur when everybody tries to move at the same time during the school break.
May sales of single-family homes increased by 2.8%, according to the Houston Area Realtors monthly report, with a total of 8,346 homes sold, compared to 8,117 in May 2018. Lest we forget, 2018 was an all-time record breaking year for home sales, and we are currently ahead 2.7% compared to the same time last year. If this keeps up, 2019 will be another year for the record books!
Single-family home prices reached historic high levels in May, with a median price increase of 2.4% for a new median of $249,993. The average price rose 5.8% to $323,023. The previous high prices were recorded last June, and it’s very likely we will see new records set in June 2019 as well. The total dollar volume of property sold in May reached just over $3 billion, an increase of 7.8%.
According to HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties, “We are seeing signs of a healthy and sustainable housing market throughout greater Houston, and that is due to a more plentiful supply of homes, continued low interest rates and a strong local economy.”
At the end of the month, another 9,169 homes were still pending sale, putting the month of June off to a great start. There were 43,624 active listings at the close of the month, an increase of 10.1%.
Increased inventory was a big part of May’s strong sales numbers. Inventory reached 4.2 months supply, up from 3.9% a year earlier. This is in line with the national average of 4.2 months. The average days on market was 53, holding steady with last year.
HAR breaks down sales trends by price bracket, and every bracket saw gains except homes under $149,000, simply because there are too few homes priced that low still in existence to expect to see increases in that category. Rising prices have made the < $99,999 and $100,000-149,999 categories something of a relic in recent years, though there are still a handful of bargain priced homes to be found if you’re looking in older suburban neighborhoods at homes that need significant work.
Rising prices are also contributing to the trend of the highest priced category seeing the strongest growth. There are simply more homes being priced above $750,0000 than there were a few years ago.
It’s not too late to catch the summer sales wave, but if you want to move before school starts up in August, there’s no time to lose. Contact us ASAP if you’d like to discuss listing your home or purchasing a new one while the market is as hot as the weather.