MLS Press Releases

Press Releases

Media Contacts

Matthew Burrus

Chief Communications Officer

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®

September 1997 Sales
Houston-Area Home Sales Post Best September On Record
String of Record Months Provide Historic Third Quarter for Houston Real Estate
HOUSTON . . . There were more homes sold in the greater Houston area this September than any other September in the city's history, and a record number of pending sales indicate the market isn't cooling down anytime soon, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

With 3,680 existing home sales closed in the month of September, the Houston real estate market posted its fourth straight month of record sales and wrapped up the most productive quarter to date with 12,027 homes sold and an average dollar volume per month of $489,066,029.

September Sets New Highs for Sales, Contracts Opened.

The Houston Association of Realtors' (HAR) Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics reported that 3,680 homes were sold in September, a 23 percent increase over last year. Meanwhile, the number of homes available dipped for the fifth consecutive month to 28,300, the lowest inventory available in September since 1982.

MLS also recorded that buyers opened 3,520 contracts in September, up 27 percent over September 1996. Contracts opened, also referred to as pended, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead.

The median price of single-family homes sold in September was $93,000, up 8.1 percent over last September. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less. This increase, coupled with the high number of homes sold, contributed to a 34.3 percent increase in the total dollar volume sold for September to $439,929,722. The average days on the market for single-family homes sold in September was 96.0. The median price of townhomes and condominiums was up 8.7 percent to $57,000, while the price of high rise residences rose 8.8 percent to $142,500.

Third Quarter 1997 * Most Productive Ever

MLS statistics report that 12,027 existing homes were sold in the third quarter. That number is up 13.2 percent over last year and represents the largest number of homes ever sold in any quarter. Additionally, 11,405 contracts were opened during the third quarter of 1997, an 18.4 percent increase over the time last year.

"The third quarter traditionally represents the downward side of the annual real estate cycle, with sales, inventory and contracts pended all leveling off," said Robin Mueck, 1997 chairman of the board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "But there are several factors, most importantly a third quarter increase in contracts opened, that indicate the final three months of this year will break that trend and be an extremely strong quarter."

Several MLS areas experienced growth over the third quarter of 1996. Southwest Fort Bend County experienced a 58.2 percent increase in resale single-family home sales. Other areas that reported strong third quarter increases include:

Central Fort Bend County (36.1 percent);
Far Northwest (32.3 percent);
East Hempstead (32.0 percent);
Central West (30.5 percent);
Montgomery County Northwest (26.7 percent);
Memorial (25.3 percent);
East Fort Bend County (24.6 percent);
Montgomery County Southwest (23.3 percent);
West Fort Bend County (22.9 percent);
Alief (21.0 percent);
Central Houston (20.6 percent);
Brazoria County (19.4 percent);
Northeast Houston (19.3 percent);
South Katy (17.8 percent); and Northwest Houston (14.6 percent).

The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and FM 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, led all areas in total single-family home sales during the third quarter with 659, followed by the Central Fort Bend County area with 562 and Montgomery County Southwest with 561.

Key Year-to-Date Statistics

The Houston real estate market is surpassing the records set in 1996. Through the first nine months of 1997, total existing home sales stand at 30,571, up 6.4 percent over the first three quarters of 1996. Contracts pended are up 7.2 percent for 1997 to 31,585.
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