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

September 2001 Sales
Existing Homes Sales Maintain Year's Record-Setting Pace Through September
HOUSTON (Oct. 16, 2001) - Despite recent tragic events and a slight decrease in home sales, Houston's existing home sales remained solid as total sales for the month of September 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 continued to decline as September closed at $123,000 marking the first time since March the median price dipped to this level. However, the median price rose by 2.8 percent from September 2000.

For the year, total home sales continued to rise ahead of last year's record-setting pace, with 43,282 existing homes sold to date. Year-to-date existing home sales for the same period in 2000 totaled 42,600. Total sales for the month of September topped out at 4,288, as the Houston home-buying season came to a close. Additionally, total sales decreased by 3.4 percent in comparison to September 2000.

Available inventory rose, as the number of homes on the market increased to 29,625 last month, up from 27,971 in August. When compared to September 2000, the number of homes on the market increased 11.8 percent, up from 26,494. Available inventory for September 2000 compared to September 1999 increased by 10.7 percent. According to the MLS data, until July 1997 Houston's property inventory levels continuously ran above the 30,000 mark for almost 14 consecutive years, giving Houstonians a larger selection of homes, townhomes, high-rise properties and even lots from which to choose. September marked the first time in more than four years that Houston's property inventory level grew close to the 30,000 level.

"With the drop in the interest rates more people can afford to buy a larger home than they thought imaginable, so Houston's market has turned into both a buyers' and sellers' market," said Todd Mason, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. "There has been such a demand for property in Houston that we really have been facing a lower than traditionally average level of inventory. Also, normally at this time of the year we see inventory, prices and pending sales start to decline, but even with the tragedy that we faced on Sept. 11, we are still looking at a very healthy residential real estate market. If you consider the fact that the entire city of Houston stopped everything for a week to catch its breath and grieve, these numbers are amazing."

September Home Sales Comparison

In September, 2,293 homes sold for less than $149,999, down 110 units from this time last year. Mid-priced home sales, homes ranging from $150,000 to $499,999, grew from 1,131 in September 2000 to 1,160 this year. Additionally, 102 homes sold for more than $500,000, a decrease of 16 homes from last year.

The total dollar volume from September closed last month at $644,228,889, reflecting a decrease of 4.9 percent compared to last September's total of $678,101,395.

Houston homebuyers opened 3,173 contracts in September, a decrease of 69 contracts from September 2000. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of sales expected to close in the next 30 to 60 days.
September Comparison
  September 2000 September 2001 Percent Change
Total home sales 4,440 4,288 - 3.4%
Total dollar volume $678.0 million $644.2 million - 4.9%
Median price $119,600 $123,000 + 2.8%
Days on market 71 82 + 13.9%
Active listings 26,494 29,625 + 11.8%
The Houston Association of Realtors reported that 15,572 homes alone were sold in the third quarter of 2001 resulting in an increase from third quarter 2000, which saw 15,014 homes sold. The total dollar volume for the third quarter of 2001 amassed more than $2.45 billion, representing a 7.4 percent increase over third quarter 2000.

Throughout the third quarter of 2001, the median price of single-family existing homes decreased 6.1 percent from $131,000 in July to $123,000 in September. July's figure is the second highest ever-recorded in Houston. The median price means that half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Inventory increased from July to September, as did the average number of days on the market for single-family existing homes that also rose from 74 days to 82 days.
3rd Quarter Comparison
  3rd Quarter 2000 3rd Quarter 2001 Percent Change
Total home sales 15,014 15,572 +3.7%
Total dollar volume $2,286,309,597 $2,455,163,779 +7.4%
Avg. active listings per month 26,443 28,729 +8.6%
Total contracts opened 11,233 11,373 + 1.2%
Avg. days on market 69.7 78 + 11.9%
High-Rise Properties, Townhouse/Condo and Country Homes Update

HARMLS reported a significant decrease in the median price for high-rise properties for September, dropping 36.4 percent to $193,750 from last year's $304,500. High-rise sales also decreased to 37 last month compared to 42 in the same month last year.

Townhouse/condominium figures dropped last month with 426 sales and a median price of $75,000 compared to September 2000's totals of 475 and $69,000, respectively. Country homes increased in median price by 61.7 percent to $155,250 from $96,000 last September, while sales decreased from 29 last September to 24 this year.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 11,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as 28 surrounding counties, including Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. 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 25,000 homes can be found on the Internet at

The information published and disseminated to the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is communicated verbatim, without change by MLS, as filed by MLS participants. The MLS does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility for its accuracy. All MLS data is preliminary and subject to change. Monthly sales figures reported since August 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 January 1988.)