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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 2002 Sales
Houston Home Sales Decrease in August
HOUSTON (Sept. 16, 2002) - Houston home sales remain on a record-breaking pace for the year, despite a dip in sales during August, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service.

Total sales for the month, consisting of single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily, country homes, high-rise properties and lots listed on the MLS, reached 5,583, which is a slight decrease of 2.8 percent in cumulative sales from this time last year. Last year's total sales for August 2001 reached 5,741.

Despite the dip, total sales continue to exceed last year's record-setting pace by 6.2 percent, with 41,421 listings sold to date. Year-to-date existing sales for the same period in 2001 totaled 38,994.

"This is the first time in months that Houston's overall market has experienced a decrease, and based on our data, some areas of Houston are experiencing softening," said HAR Chairman Shad Bogany. "Generally, the housing market lags behind the rest of the economy because buying a home is such an emotionally charged purchase for consumers, especially since they tend to invest more money and sweat equity into their homes more than any other type of investment."

However, according to a recent report released by the Federal Reserve, the nation's residential real estate market remains robust despite an overall slowdown of the economy.

"It's hard to determine whether this is the case or if we are returning to the typical seasonal slowdown," said Bogany. "We will know more in the next few months."

The total dollar volume of sales closed last month totaled $901,587,690 million, representing a .04 percent decrease when compared to last August's total of $905,310,555 million.

The number of pending sales decreased to 3,614 this month from 4,118 last year. Pending sales are the traditional indicator of the number of homes that will close within the next month. Available inventory rose to 33,430 in August, compared to 32,737 the previous month, representing the highest volume of inventory since July 1995.
August Market Comparison
August 2001 August 2002 Percent Change
Total home sales 5,741 5,583 -2.8%
Total dollar volume $905,000,000 $901,000,000 -0.4%
Active listings 27,971 33,430 +19.5%
Pending sales 4,118 3,614 -12.2%
Single-Family Homes Update

After rising continually for seven consecutive months, the median price of single-family homes slightly decreased to $134,900 in August, down from $135,000 the previous month. The median price of $134,900 was 4.6 percent higher than last August's $129,000.

The national median price for single-family homes is $162,800, according to statistics released by the National Association of Realtors® in July.

In August, 2,724 single-family homes sold for less than $149,999, an increase of 255 units from this time last year. Mid-priced home sales, homes ranging from $150,000 to $499,999 grew by 94 to 1,786 this year from 1,692 in August 2001. Additionally, 146 homes sold for more than $500,000.

Townhouse/Condo and Country Homes Update

Townhouse/condominium figures decreased last month to 546 sales with a median price of $84,200 compared to August's 2001's totals of 599 and $82,000, respectively. Country homes, or homes with 10 or more acres, increased in median price to $140,000 this year from $120,000 last year. Sales increased to 30 from 21 last August.
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.)