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

April 1998 Sales
April Home Sales Best Previous Record By Nearly 25 Percent
Record Set Despite Available Inventory of Less Than 25,000 Listings
HOUSTON (May 15, 1998) - Houston-area home sales crossed the 4,000-mark for the second month in a row as buyers purchased 4,046 homes in April despite a shrinking available inventory of 24,961, the second-lowest total since 1982, according to statistics reported today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

April home sales represented a 24.8 percent increase over the previous April record of 3,243, set in 1996, and a 29 percent increase over last April. The total dollar volume for homes sold was an April-record $490,164,444, a 38.6 percent increase over last April. This also is the first time that dollar volume in April has crossed the $400 million mark. The previous high, set last April, was $353,769,968.

"We are seeing homes in the Houston area moving so quickly that some are listed and sold within the same reporting period," said George Stephens, 1998 Chairman of the Board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "Over the next couple of months, we could see many homeowners take advantage of the steady growth in the real estate market to realize a return on their investment and move up."

The reported available inventory for April was a slight decrease from March and represents a five-month inventory at the current rate of absorption. Additionally, single-family homes sold at a scorching rate in April, spending an average of only 86.9 days on the market.

The median price of single-family homes sold in April was a record $94,000, up 7.4 percent over last April¢s $87,500. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less. MLS also reported the median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during April was $60,000, up 8.6 percent over last April. The price of high rise residences increased 66.4 percent to $225,000.

Home buyers opened 4,113 contracts last month, a 17 percent increase compared to 3,516 during the same time last year and only the third time this decade more than 4,000 contracts were opened in one month. Contracts opened, also referred to as pended, are a good indicator of closed sales 30-60 days ahead.

Single-family home sales statistics show that nearly all MLS areas experienced significant growth over last April. Among those areas reporting strong April increases were West Houston (108.1 percent), Montgomery County Northeast (95.0 percent), Galveston County (67.7 percent), Bear Creek (62.4 percent), South Katy (60.5 percent), Brazoria County (59.7 percent), Far West Houston (59.6 percent), Northeast Houston (54.8 percent), North Houston (53.1 percent), West Fort Bend County (42.9 percent) and Northwest Houston (40.6 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 April single-family home sales with 220, while the Bear Creek area trailed slightly with 190.
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