Houston Real Estate Update: August 2015 – Sales Remain Hot

Houston Real Estate Update: August 2015 – Sales Remain Hot

Prices hit July highs and inventory continues to expand.


The following is the most recent Houston MLS Report, published by the Houston Association of Realtors. The data covers Houston homes for sale and real estate trends from the last twelve months (July 2014 – July 2015).

July Houston Real Estate Milestones:

  • Single-family home sales rose 6.7 percent versus July 2014;
  • Total property sales were up 6.0 percent year-over-year to a record 9,653 units;
  • Total dollar volume increased 11.9 percent to $2.7 billion;
  • At $293,790, the single-family home average price reached a record high for a July;
  • At $220,000, the single-family home median price also achieved a record July high;
  • Single-family homes months of inventory climbed to a 3.4-months supply, matching a level not seen since July 2013;
  • Townhome/condominium sales rose 7.3 percent;
  • Single family home leases were up 11.8 percent while townhome/condominium leases rose 8.0 percent with average rents up year-over-year.


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Houston Real Estate Updates In July

The mercury wasn’t the only thing on the rise in Houston in July. For a second straight month, home sales and prices surpassed last year’s record-breaking pace, while housing inventory levels showed further improvement. Homes priced below $150,000 experienced a sales decline, while those above $500,000 showed particularly strong sales volume.

July single-family home sales totaled 8,147 units-the highest one––month volume ever–– compared to 7,637 a year earlier, according to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). The time it took to sell the average home matched last year’s 45 days.


houston neighborhood map

Months of inventory, the estimated time it would take to deplete the current active housing inventory based on the previous 12 months of sales, increased to a 3.4-months supply versus 3.0 months last July. That is the greatest supply of homes since July 2013, but remains below the current national supply of 5.0 months of inventory.

Home prices achieved July highs, with the average price of a single-family home up 6.3 percent year-over-year to $293,790. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 8.6 percent to $220,000.

July sales of all property types amounted to a record-setting 9,653 units, an increase of 6.0 percent versus the same month last year. Total dollar volume rose 9.5 percent to $2.7 billion.

“The Houston housing market has been blessed with another solid month of gains,” said HAR Chair Nancy Furst with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties. “Despite lingering concerns about falling oil prices and layoffs within the energy industry, I believe the strength of Houston’s housing market continues to be buoyed by our tremendously diverse local economy.”

July Monthly Market Comparison

The Houston housing market benefitted from across-the-board gains in the July 2015 versus July 2014 analysis, with single-family home sales, total property sales, and total dollar volume all up, and prices reaching record highs for a July.

Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 7,959, a 4.1 percent increase compared to a year earlier. Active listings, or the number of available properties, at the end of July rose 12.7 percent to 33,679.

Houston’s housing inventory saw a notable expansion in July, reaching a 3.4-months supply versus the 3.0-months supply of one year earlier. That matches the inventory level recorded in July 2013, but remains below the current national supply of homes which stands at a 5.0-months supply, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).


Total property sales 9,108 9,653 6.0%
Total dollar volume $2,405,689,100 $2,690,968,034 11.9%
Total active listings 29,880 33,679 12.7%
Single-family home sales 7,637 8,147 6.7%
Single-family average sales price $276,281 $293,790 6.3%
Single-family median sales price $202,500 $220,000 8.6%
Single-family months inventory* 3.0 3.4 15.2%
Single-family pending sales** 7,646 7,959 4.1%

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.

** Effective May 2015, in an effort to be consistent with industry standards, the Houston MLS is now including all categories of pending sales in its reporting. Previously, the Houston MLS did not include “option pending” and “pending continue to show” listings in its reporting of pending sales. The new methodology is now all-inclusive for listings that went under contract during the month.


Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales totaled 8,147 in July, an increase of 6.7 percent from July 2014. Home prices reached the highest levels ever for a July in Houston.

The single-family average price rose 6.3 percent from last year to $293,790 and the median price jumped 8.6 percent year-over-year to $220,000. The average number of days it took to sell a home, or Days on Market (DOM), was 45 in July, matching the DOM of a year earlier.

Single-family home sales tracked on a year-to-date basis were flat in July at 43,559.

Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows:

  • $1 – $79,999: decreased 30.1 percent
  • $80,000 – $149,999: decreased 17.9 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased 11.9 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased 12.6 percent
  • $500,000 and above: increased 18.3 percent

HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,133 in July. That is a 6.6 percent increase over the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.2 percent year-over-year to $276,094 while the median sales price jumped 7.9 percent to $205,000.

Townhouse/Condominium Update

Sales of townhouses and condominiums increased 7.3 percent in July. A total of 720 units sold compared to 671 properties in July 2014. The average price, however, fell 3.8 percent to $202,991 and the median price declined 3.5 percent to $152,500. Inventory grew slightly from a 2.7-months supply to 2.9 months.

Lease Property Update

Demand for single-family lease homes rocketed 11.8 percent in July. The average rent for such properties climbed 3.0 percent to $1,864. Townhouse/condominiums leases were up 8.0 percent in July with their average rent up 4.6 percent to $1,625.


The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 25,000 REALTORS® throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 50,000 properties may be found on the Internet at http://www.har.com.

The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Services is communicated verbatim, without change by Multiple Listing Services, as filed by MLS participants.

The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since November 1998 includes a statistical estimation to account for late entries. Twelve-month totals may vary from actual end-of-year figures. (Single-family detached homes were broken out separately in monthly figures beginning February 1988.)

Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 26,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual dues-paying membership trade association in Houston as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.

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