MLS Press Releases

Press Releases

Media Contacts

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®

September 2003 Sales
Houston Home Sales Soar as Labor Market Gains Traction
Record-breaking Local Sales Continue Through Fifth Month
HOUSTON (Oct. 14, 2003) – As a recent Labor Department report announces job growth on the national level, home sales continue to rise in Houston in spite of a stagnant local employment picture. Existing home sales for the third quarter of 2003 increased 13.8 percent over the third quarter of 2002, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. In addition, existing sales last month reached an all-time high, representing the highest number of sales ever recorded during the month of September.

“Considering government reports of job growth and the anticipation of higher consumer spending, home sales confirm that Houstonians are reacting to the current favorable market conditions,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Board of Director and Marketing Manager for Greenwood King Properties. “Consumers are smart. They’re taking advantage of Houston’s low cost of living and the continuation of low interest rates.”

Total sales continue to rise ahead of last year’s record-setting pace, with 48,757 listings sold to date. Year-to-date existing sales through September 2002 totaled 42,315.
Third Quarter Comparison
3rd Quarter 2002 3rd Quarter 2003 Percent Change
Total home sales 16,118 18,344 +13.8%
Total dollar volume $2.63 billion $3.13 billion +18.9%
Avg. active listings per month 33,271 38,568 +15.9%
Total contracts opened 10,169 11,415 +12.3%

September Market Comparison
September 2002 September 2003 Percent Change
Total home sales 4,615 5,622 +21.8%
Total dollar volume $758 million $930 million +22.7%
Avg. active listings per month 33,646 38,884 +15.6%
Total contracts opened 2,595 3,606 +39%
September single-family homes update

Total sales for single-family homes increased by 25 percent to 4,698 from last year’s total of 3,770. The median price of single-family homes dropped to $134,560 in September when compared to the previous few months. For the first time, Houston’s single-family median price exceeded $140,000 during the months of June, July and August. However, September’s median price of $134,560 is still higher than last September’s median price of $131,040. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Within this category, 534 of the homes sold were new homes listed by Realtors, versus 625 new homes sold through the MLS during September 2002.*

Houston real estate milestones
  • Highest number of sales ever recorded in the month of September
  • Highest level of inventory since April 1988
  • * This statistic represents new homes that are listed by Realtors and is not representative of all new homes sold in these areas.
    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 18,000 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 second largest local Realtor association in the nation. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 35,000 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.)