MLS Press Releases

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David Mendel

Public Relations Manager

Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 47,000 REALTORS®

April 1997 Sales
Contracts Pended Increase, While Houston-Area Resale Home Listings Remain below 30,000
Low inventory continues to challenge Houston-area home shoppers as the number of active listings for April registered at 29,190, according to statistics reported today by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Multiple Listing Service (MLS).This is the longest stretch of below-30,000 listings since March 1983 when inventory first topped the 30,000 mark,

This recent trend in low inventory is a good indication that despite a slow, yet steady appreciation of real estate in Houston right now, buyers who purchased homes in recent years choose them as a lifestyle decision, said Robin Mueck, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. People are buying right now to establish roots and build a home, not as a profit-making venture.

Mueck also noted that the number of active listings decreased 2.3 percent from March 1997, an unusual dip at a time of year when inventory should be steadily rising.

The number of contracts opened was on the increase however. From March to April 1997 there was a 3.6 percent increase in contracts opened compared to a 1.6 percent increase during the same time frame last year. Contracts opened, also referred to as pended, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead. HAR reported that buyers opened 3,516 contracts in April, up 1.2 percent over last April.

Despite the fact that there were 9.8 percent fewer homes on the market compared to the same time period last year, Houston-area resale home sales numbers were only slightly behind a record-setting 1996. HAR reported that there were 3,137 residential properties sold last month compared to 3,243 sold in April last year, a decrease of 3.3 percent.

Single-family homes priced up to $100,000 represented 48.4 percent of all sales during the month. The median price of single family homes sold last month was $87,500, up 2.9 percent over last April. Median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

These significant increases in median price and contracts pended could mean that the market is gearing up for an excellent buying season, added Mueck. Houstonians traditionally take advantage of the summer weather and school vacations to search for a new home.

MLS statistics also showed several areas of town have been active with Houston-area home buyers. During the month of April, the Bellaire West Area sold 26.5 percent of the available listings on single-family residences, while the Pasadena, Central North and the Southeast Areas all sold more than 18 percent of their available single-family homes in April. On units sold, the Northwest Area led the way with 177 single-family homes sold in April.

The total dollar volume sold in April was $353,769,968. The average days on the market for single-family homes sold was 105.6. The median price of townhomes and condominums was up 6.25 percent to $55,250, while the price of high rise residences dropped 2.7 percent to$135,250.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 10,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. All reported MLS data is preliminary and subject to changes. The Houston Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in Houston and the largest local Realtor association in the nation. Residential home sales statistics, as well as listing information for more than 22,000 homes, can be found on the Internet at