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

August 2000 Sales
Existing Homes Sales Maintain Year’s Record-Setting Pace through August
High Active Listings Accompany Lower Total Sales
HOUSTON (September 13, 2000) – Houston’s existing home sales remained solid as total sales for the month of August kept the city on a record-breaking pace, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service. The median price of single-family existing homes for August closed at $119,000 as the third highest price ever recorded, while marking the first time in three months the median price fell below the $120,000 plateau.

Total sales for the month of August topped out at 5,391, the second highest total ever reached in the month. However, total sales dropped by 1.3 percent in comparison to August 1999. This represents the fourth time this year since 1994 that total sales for a month have decreased when compared to the same month from the previous year.

Despite the dip in sales, total home sales are still slightly ahead of last year’s record-setting pace, with 38,160 existing homes sold to date. Year-to-date existing home sales for the same period in 1999 totaled 37,996.

Available inventory continued to escalate, rising to 26,508 last month, up slightly over 26,328 in July. This also represents the highest figure for active listings since November 1997, as well as an 11.1 percent increase compared to 23,862 for the same month last year.

"Houston currently is experiencing a very balanced market in terms of buyers and sellers," said Frankie Jefferson, madam chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. "The increase in available inventory is evidence of a strong buyers’ market, while a high median price bodes well for sellers. As a result, there are plenty of good opportunities to buy or sell real estate in any area throughout the city."

As a result of the high median price, the total dollar volume closed last month was $828,365,583, an increase of 10.1 percent compared to last August’s total of $752,665,096. Despite the high prices, single-family existing homes spent only 71 days on the market.

While existing home sales were significantly lower than last year’s total of 5,462, the median price of $119,000 was 11.3 percent higher than last August’s $106,900. Buyers opened 3,971 contracts in August, a slight increase from August 1999. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.
August Comparison
  August 1999 August 2000 Percent Change
Total property sales 5,462 5,391 -1.3%
Total dollar volume $752,700,000 $828,400,000 +10.1%%
Median price, single-family home $106,900 $119,000 +11.3%
Days on market 66 71 +7.6%
Active Listings 23,862 26,508 +11.1%
High Rise Properties, Townhomes/Condos and Country Homes Update

HARMLS reported a tremendous increase in the median price for high rise properties for July, soaring 102.6 percent to $314,000 from last year’s $155,000. High rise sales increased to 45 last month compared to 30 in the same month last year.

Townhouse/condominium figures rose last month with 523 sales and a median price of $72,000 compared to August 1999’s totals of 520 and $68,000, respectively. Country homes decreased significantly in median price by more than 10 percent from $121,620 this year from $135,420 last August, while sales decreased from 33 last August to 22 this year.

Top MLS Areas in August

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

Area 4 (South) – from $47,500 in 1999 to $71,500 this year;
Area 14 (Far Northwest) – from $87,750 to $132,170;
Area 16 (Central) – from $261,750 to $296,000;
Area 17 (Southwest) – from $324,100 to $378,900;
Area 19 (Montgomery County Northeast) – from $77,500 to $100,000;
Area 20 (Bellaire South) – from $98,000 to $123,200;
Area 23 (Memorial) – from $303,250 to $370,000;
Area 31 (West) – from $135,000 to $175,000; and
Area 35 (Hempstead West) – from $109,900 to $142,860.
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