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

October 1998 Sales
October Home Sales Push Year-to-Date Sales Total to New Annual Record
HOUSTON (November 17, 1998) - With 3,995 homes sold in the Houston area during October, the market already has broken the record for total annual home sales with two months remaining in 1998.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS), Realtors closed a record number of sales in October, bringing the year-to-date total to 42,292. This represents a 3.1 percent increase over the previous annual record of 41,033 home sales, set just last year.

"The Houston real estate market in 1998 is stronger than it has ever been," said George Stephens, 1998 chairman of the board for the Houston Association of Realtors. "This year's record home sales are a result of consumer confidence in Houston's booming and diverse economy, an extremely low unemployment rate, and some of the lowest interest rates in 30 years."

October home sales topped the previous record set during the same time last year by 6.3 percent. The record high also continued the string of 17 consecutive months of record sales, dating back to June of 1997. Record home sales, coupled with an October-high single-family median price of $97,000, resulted in $502,282,289 in total dollar volume for the month of October. Since reaching $500 million in monthly sales back in May, Realtors have posted six consecutive months above this mark.

The HARMLS also reported the median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during October was $59,250, while the median price for high rise residences was $142,500. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Indicators are still pointing towards a brisk close to the year, noted Stephens, including average days on market, contracts pending and available listings. In October, homes spent an average of 80.0 days on the market, down a full 15 days from last October. Buyers opened 3,183 contracts, a decrease of six percent from last year, reflecting that many Realtors are reporting closed sales so quickly they never make the pending list. Active listings for October dipped slightly from September to 23,509, the lowest number of available homes since August of 1982.

Several HARMLS areas in Houston and the surrounding seven counties experienced growth compared to October of 1997. Northeast Harris County experienced a 61.2 percent increase in resale single-family home sales. Other areas that reported strong October increases include Houston South (50.0 percent); Aldine-Westfield (43.5 percent); Brazoria County (37.8 percent); Bellaire South (24.4 percent); South Katy (23.8 percent); Far Northwest (23.8 percent); Far West Harris County (23.1 percent); and North Houston (20.1 percent).

The Northwest area, located between Interstate 45 and Texas 249 and Beltway 8 to the south and Spring Cypress to the north, led all areas in total single-family home sales during October with 217, followed by Clear Lake with 208.
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 23,000 homes can be found on the Internet at