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

May 1999 Sales
Existing Home Sales, Prices Soar In May Single-family Homes Reach All-Time High Median Price
HOUSTON (June 10, 1999) — The real estate market isn’t waiting for the official start of summer to begin scorching the record charts, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. In addition to record-setting sales of 5,040 existing homes in May, the median price for a single-family home shot up $108,300, the highest median price ever recorded for Houston.

Rather than dampening buyers’ enthusiasm, increasing prices have resulted in increased competition for listed homes, with homes sold in May being snapped up after an average of only 72 days on the market.

"The excitement of the overall Houston economy is definitely evident in the activity in the home sales market," said Mark Woodroof, chairman of the board of the Houston Association of Realtors. "People are excited about where this city is headed, there is home building and other construction activity from downtown out through the suburban fringes and nearly every area of the city is experiencing positive growth. The opportunities to sell or to buy great properties are there for Houstonians who are prepared to move at the speed of the market."

May home sales were up 9.66 percent over last year and up 5.5 percent from April. The May median price of $108,300 is 11.6 percent higher than last year’s $97,000 and 5.1 percent higher than April’s $102,990. The total dollar volume closed in May was $680,284,548. Buyers opened 4,194 contracts in May, a small increase over May 1998. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.

Available inventory rose to 22,500, up slightly over 21,946 in May. However, this represents a 9 percent dip in active listings compared to 24,743 for the same month last year. Compared to last year’s 82.6 days, homes sold in May spent 10 days less on the market, at only 72 days.

MLS also reported the median price for townhomes and condominiums in the Houston area during May was $65,350, up slightly from last year’s $65,000. The median price for high rise properties was down 34 percent from last year to $165,000.

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

Area 5 (Brazoria County) – from $101,450 in 1998 to $120,500 this year;
Area 8 (Bear Creek) – from $87,750 to $104,740;
Area 9 (Central North) – from $85,750 to $110,500;
Area 13 (Northwest) – from $113,200 to $123,000;
Area 17 (Southwest) – from $245,000 to $284,500;
Area 22 (Central West) – from $270,250 to $315,000;
Area 27 (All other counties) – from $84,250 to $99,900; and
Area 39 (Mont. Co. NW) – from $115,000 to $149,000.

The Bellaire West area, bounded by Chimney Rock, Bissonnet, Beltway 8 and Westpark, was especially active in May, with a pending sales to active listings ratio of 75 percent. The area posted 21 pending sales out of a current inventory of 28 active listings. The Southeast area, stretching from Almeda Road to east of I-45 between the 610 South Loop and the Harris County line, posted a 53.2 percent ratio, with 115 pending sales out of 216 active listings. The Pasadena area, including Deer Park, also posted more than a 50 percent ratio, with 125 pending sales out of 244 active listings.
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