MLS Press Releases

Press Releases

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Matthew Burrus

Chief Communications Officer

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®

October 2002 Sales
Home Sales, Inventory at Record Levels
HOUSTON (Nov. 14, 2002) – Sales of existing single family homes continued to rise last month marking the highest level of activity ever recorded during the month of October, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. The month of October also marked the highest level of inventory in Houston since September 1994.

Total sales for the month, consisting of single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily, country homes, high-rise properties and lots listed on the MLS, reached 4,753, representing an 8.6 percent increase in cumulative sales from this time last year. Last year’s total sales for October 2001 reached 4,376.

Overall, total sales continue to exceed last year’s record-setting pace by 6.6 percent, with 50,789 listings sold to date. Year-to-date existing sales for the same period in 2001 totaled 47,658.

“It seems that every month we report that home sales in Houston continue to rise, which they do. But what people don’t realize is that compared to the rest of the nation, our prices are considerably less,” said HAR Chairman Shad Bogany. “In fact, Fortune Magazine recently did an extensive article on housing in America, in which they predicted a housing bubble caused by a jump in housing prices. However, Houston, along with Atlanta, was cited in contrast to other major cities as still having very affordable housing.”

The same article reports that homebuyers in New York City pay almost 5.3 times their salaries for homes and residents in San Francisco pay as much as 5.5 times. By contrast, homebuyers in Houston spend just more than twice their income.

Available inventory rose to 34,027 in October, marking the highest number of homes on the market in Houston since September 1994. There were 29,483 listings at this time last year.

The number of pending sales – the traditional indicator of the number of homes that will close within the next month – decreased to 3,106 this month from 3,597 last year. However, the number of active listings increased in October when compared to the previous month. Pending sales in September 2002 totaled 2,595.

The total dollar volume of sales closed last month totaled $766,104,765 million, representing a 19.2 percent increase when compared to last October’s total of $642,938,533 million.
October Market Comparison
October 2001 October 2002 Percent Change
Total home sales 4,376 4,753 +8.6%
Total dollar volume $643 million $766 million +19.2%
Active listings 29,483 34,027 +14%
Pending sales 3,597 3,106 +13.7%
Single-family homes update

The median price of single-family homes in October reached $129,000, representing the highest median price ever recorded in October. The median price of $129,000 was 6.6 percent higher than last October’s $121,000. However, this month’s median price continued its gradual decline from June and July’s record-breaking median price of $135,000. The median price in September was $131,040.

In October, 2,406 single-family homes sold for less than $149,999, an increase of 50 units from this time last year. Mid-priced home sales, homes ranging from $150,000 to $499,999 grew by 232 to 1,359 this year from 1,127 in October 2001. Additionally, 124 homes sold for more than $500,000 as compared to 96 sold during October of last year.

Townhouse/Condo and Country Homes Update

Townhouse/condominium figures increased last month to 512 sales with a median price of $87,500 compared to October 2001’s totals of 465 and $79,250, respectively. Country homes, or homes with 10 or more acres, increased in median price to $99,000 this year from $92,000 last year. Sales increased by only two units to 33 from 31 last October.
The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 16,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of 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 listings can be found on the Internet at

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.)