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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 2000 Sales
Existing Homes Sales Eclipse New Highs in October
Median Price, Inventory Figures Indicate Balanced Market for Buyers and Sellers
HOUSTON (November 8, 2000) – Houston’s existing home sales remained solid as total sales for the month of October kept the city ahead of last year’s record-breaking pace, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service.

Total sales reached the highest amount ever recorded for the month of October, topping out at 4,278, which is up slightly in comparison to October 1999’s total sales figure of 4,272. As a result, total home sales are still ahead of last year’s record-setting pace, with 46,878 existing homes sold to date. Year-to-date existing home sales for the same period in 1999 totaled 46,763.

The median price of single-family existing homes for October dipped to $116,500, marking the first time in five months the median price fell below the $119,000 plateau. Available inventory continued to escalate, rising to 26,659 last month, up slightly over 26,494 in September. This also represents the highest figure for inventory since October 1997, as well as a 10.9 percent increase compared to 24,048 for the same month last year.

"Based upon the decrease in median price and rise in available inventory, Houston’s real estate market continues to provide both buyers and sellers with terrific opportunities to buy and sell property," said Frankie Jefferson, madam chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. "Our year-to-date figures reflect the stellar year the city has experienced. Regardless of where we finish in 2000, this year will rank as one of the strongest, if not the strongest, ever recorded."

The total dollar volume closed last month was $632,068,456, an increase of 13.8 percent compared to last October’s total of $555,629,839. Year-to-date total dollar volume figures in 2000 have amassed $7,001,308,979, representing a 12.1 percent increase when compared to 1999’s year-to-date total dollar volume figure of $6,243,224,615.

While October’s existing home sales were higher than last year’s, the median price of $116,500 also was 14.2 percent higher than last October’s $102,000. As a result of the fluctuation in median price, single-family existing homes spent 76 days on the market. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Buyers opened 3,203 contracts in October, a slight decrease from October 1999’s. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.
October Comparison
  October 1999 October 2000 Percent Change
Total property sales 4,272 4,278 +0.1%
Total dollar volume $555,600,000 $632,100,000 +13.8%
Median price, single-family home $102,000 $116,500 +14.2%
Days on market 70 76 +8.6%
Active Listings 24,048 26,659 +10.9%
High Rise Properties, Townhomes/Condos and Country Homes Update

HARMLS reported a significant increase in the median price for high rise properties for October, jumping 46.5 percent to $290,000 from last year’s $198,000. High rise sales increased as well to 49 last month compared to 40 in the same month last year.

Townhouse/condominium figures rose last month with 442 sales and a median price of $70,000 compared to October 1999’s totals of 404 and $68,000, respectively. Country homes decreased significantly in median price by more than 48 percent from $184,500 last October to $94,860 this year, while sales increased from 20 last October to 23 this year.

Top MLS Areas in October

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

Area 5 (Brazoria County) - from $112,250 in 1999 to $139,500 this year;
Area 14 (Far Northwest) - from $95,000 to $124,580;
Area 16 (Central) - from $260,000 to $302,500;
Area 17 (Southwest) - from $273,500 to $350,000;
Area 22 (Central West) - from $284,950 to $312,360;
Area 23 (Memorial) - from $345,000 to $375,000;
Area 24 (Spring Branch) - from $81,370 to $112,750;
Area 26 (Waller County) - from $55,500 to $81,550; and
Area 31 (West) - from $135,000 to $182,250.
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