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

March 1999 Sales
Houston Home Sales Set First Quarter Records
HOUSTON (April 14, 1999) — Despite the "status quo" economic forecasts for 1999, the Houston real estate market continued to scorch home sales records during the first quarter of 1999. The quarter saw three consecutive record-setting months, including 4,888 resale home sales in March.

"First quarter results definitely did not reflect the flat market that industry analysts had projected," said Mark Woodroof, 1999 chairman of the board for the Houston Association of Realtors. "The strength of the real estate market is one of the key indicators for the region’s economy, so these numbers are exciting news for many businesses and industries, not to mention new home sellers and buyers."

The Houston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service (HARMLS) reported that 11,183 homes were sold in the first quarter of 1999 resulting in a total dollar volume of more than $1.39 billion. This marks a 14.8 percent increase over first quarter 1998 in the number of  homes sold.

During the first quarter of 1999, the median price of single-family homes climbed 9.9 percent from $92,500 in January to $101,650 in March. This represents only the fourth time in the market’s history that the median price has climbed above the $100,000-mark. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Homes also spent progressively less time on the block during the first three months of 1999, as average days on the market for single-family homes dropped steadily from 88 days to 80 days.

1st Quarter Comparison
  1st Quarter 1998 1st Quarter 1999 Percent Change
Total property sales 9,745 11,183 +14.7%
Total dollar volume $1,148,599,568 $1,392,587,732 +22.7%
Active listings 25,097 21,755 -13.3%
Pending sales 10,704 10,433 -2.5%
Average days on market 101 85 -15.8%
March Home Sales Reach New Highs

The 4,888 homes sold in March represent a 15.5 percent increase over last March and contributed $625,755,032 to the total dollar volume for the quarter. Buyers opened 4,203 contracts in March, a small increase from March 1998. Open contracts, also referred to as pended sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.

Available inventory rose to 21,883, up slightly over February’s 21,732. However, this represents a 13 percent dip in active listings compared to 25,194 for the same month last year.

MLS also reported the median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during March was $66,500, up 6.4 percent over last March. The median price for high rise properties increased 67 percent over last March to $232,500.

Single-family home sales statistics show that 75 percent of all MLS areas experienced significant growth over last March. Among those areas reporting March increases in single-family home sales of more than 30 percent were Northeast Harris County (89.9 percent), South Central Houston (85.7 percent), Far Northwest Harris County (69.1 percent), Northeast Montgomery County (61.1 percent), Southwest Fort Bend County (59.5 percent), Galveston County (44.2 percent), Central Houston (41.5 percent), West Fort Bend County (39.7 percent) and Alief (32.3 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 March single-family home sales with 257, while Clear Lake trailed with 234 and Bear Creek with 226 home sales.
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