MLS Press Releases

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Matthew Burrus

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David Mendel

Public Relations Manager

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

May 2001 Sales
Existing Homes Sales Scorch Records
Figures Increase Dramatically
HOUSTON (June XX, 2001) – 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. Increased prices have not dampened buyers’ enthusiasm, but instead have resulted in increased competition for listed homes, with homes sold in May being snapped up after an average of only 74 days on the market.

With 5,632 total sales closed in May, and 21,983 closed year-to-date, existing home sales are 1.24 percent ahead of last year’s record-setting figures of 21,714 for this time last year. For the fifth consecutive month, total sales in May increased with sales rising 4.03 percent in comparison to May 2000, a jump from 5,414 to 5,632. This represents the third highest total sales figure ever recorded in Houston.

The median price of single-family homes dropped slightly to $124,960 from last month’s record amount of $125,500, marking the second highest median price ever recorded in Houston. As a result of the high median price, the total dollar volume closed last month was $867,937,359, an increase of 5.79 percent compared to last May’s total of $820,406,776.

“Despite the slight drop in home sales throughout the first quarter, Houston’s existing home sales activity rebounded quickly to regain strength and momentum as we head into the most active months of the home-buying season,” said Todd Mason, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors. “May figures are a convincing indicator that this season could be one of the most productive ones ever experienced in Houston.”

While May existing home sales were significantly higher than last year’s total, the median price of $124,960 for single-family homes was 7.7 percent higher than last May’s $116,000. Buyers opened 4,256 contracts in May, 4.3 percent fewer than May 2000. Open contracts, also referred to as pending sales, are a traditional indicator of closed sales 30 to 60 days ahead.

Compared to last May’s 70 days, single-family existing homes sold this May spent four more days on the market.

Available inventory rose to 28,457 last month, up slightly over 28,153 in April. This also represents a 12.4 percent increase in active listings compared to 25,317 for the same month last year. Additionally, this is the largest available inventory of homes in Houston since August 1997.
May Comparison
  May 2000 May 2001 Percent Change
Total home sales 5,414 5,632 +4.03%
Total dollar volume $820 million $867 million +5.8%
Median price, single-family home $116,000 $124,960 +7.7%
Days on market 70 74 +5.7%
Active listings 25,317 28,457 +12.4%
High-Rise Properties, Townhouse/Condo and Country Homes Update

HARMLS reported a tremendous decrease in the median price for high-rise properties for May, dropping 19.75 percent to $260,000 from last year’s $324,000. High-rise sales increased 7.3 percent to 44 last month compared to 41 in the same month last year.

Townhouse/condominium figures rose last month with 569 sales and a median price of $85,000 compared to May 2000’s totals of 517 and $74,500, respectively. Country home figures increased as well in median price by more than 57.1 percent from $100,000 last May to $157,050 this year, while sales decreased from 35 last May to 24 this year.

Top MLS Areas in May

Among the MLS areas experiencing significant increases in median price in May during the last year were:
  • Area 17 (Southwest) – from $337,250 in 2000 to $365,000 this year;
  • Area 14 (Far Northwest) – from $108,450 to $133,650;
  • Area 30 (Fort Bend Southwest) – from $150,220 to $174,300;
  • Area 38 (Fort Bend East) – from $91,000 to $110,000
  • Area 15 (Montgomery County Southwest) – from $153,000 to $168,840;
  • Area 1 (Northeast) – from $100,000 to $115,500;
  • Area 27 (All other counties) – from $61,500 to $76,000;
  • Area 29 (Fort Bend Central) – from $153,500 to $167,750;
  • Area 8 (Bear Creek) – from $106,000 to $120,000; and
  • Area 24 (Spring Branch) - from $99,000 to $112,750.
    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.)