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

November 1999 Sales
Housing Market Nears Yeard-End On High Note
Median Price, Closed Sales Set All-Time Highs for November
HOUSTON (December 15, 1999) – According to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service, Houston’s existing home sales market is showing no signs of slowing down as it approaches the end of the year. The median price of single-family homes eclipsed the $100,000 barrier for the first time ever in November, while total sales neared 4,000 for the month.

Year-to-date closed sales of 50,696 also reflect a 10 percent gain over 1998’s 46,069 total sales. With median prices hovering around $100,000 throughout the year, year-to-date total dollar volume sold is up 17.5 percent, climbing from $5,763,186,194 in 1998 to $6,775,915,695 in 1999.

Even with high median prices homes are still moving quickly, spending an average of only 72 days on the market this past month.

"We always see a small dip in activity in November and this year was no different, but we also expect to see a spike in year-end sales in December," said Mark Woodroof, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors®. "It is going to be very exciting to see where we finish the year and whether this strong demand continues in 2000."

November home sales escalated from 3,777 a year ago to 3,933 this past November, an increase of 4.1 percent. The median price of single-family homes also rose dramatically, increasing 9.8 percent from $96,500 in November 1998 to $105,950 last month. The total dollar volume closed last month was $532,691,080 indicating an increase of 13.9 percent compared to last November’s total of $467,804,802. Buyers opened 3,025 contracts in November, a small decrease over November 1998. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.

Available inventory closed at 23,532 last month, down slightly from 24,048 in October but a 4.1 percent increase in active listings compared to 22,596 for the same month last year. Compared to last November’s 81 days, single-family existing homes sold this November spent nine fewer days on the market at only 72 days.

According to MLS, the top five areas of Houston experiencing the hottest single family home sales include South Central Houston (33.3), Alief area (33.3), Far Northeast (28.5), Aldine-Westfield area (28.3) and Bellaire West (28.3). The hotness ratio is determined by pending sales as a percentage of active listings.

MLS also showed a steady increase in the median price for townhomes and condominiums. The median price for townhomes and condominiums jumped up to $68,000, an increase of eight percent from last year’s $62,950.

However, high rise property and country homes significantly decreased in median prices compared to last November. The median price of high rise property fell to $156,000, a decrease of 6.7 percent over last November’s $166,500. Country homes also decreased significantly in median price declining 30 percent from $134,520 last November to $94,000 this year.

Among the MLS areas experiencing significant increases in median price in November over last year were:

Area 5 (Brazoria County) – from $100,650 in 1998 to $119,470 this year;
Area 7 (Clear Lake Area) – from $109,000 to $125,400;
Area 14 (Far Northwest) – from $88,000 to $106,740;
Area 19 (Montgomery County Northeast) – from $68,250 to $88,200;
Area 22 (Central West) – from $248,500 to $420,000;
Area 26 (Waller County) – from $67,450 to $86,690;
Area 29 (Fort Bend Central) – from $143,500 to $159,900;
Area 31 (West) – from $123,950 to $150,000;
Area 35 (Hempstead West) – from $99,500 to $116,500;
Area 40 (Montgomery County Southeast) – from $73,500 to $84,000.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by more than 17,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. For specific questions regarding a certain area, contact your Realtor. 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 include 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.)

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 34,000 listings can be found on the Internet at