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

January 2003 Sales
Houston's Townhouse/Condo Market Prime for Investment
Overall Real Estate Market Stable
HOUSTON (Feb. 19, 2003) - A combination of abundant inventory and low interest rates in Houston's townhouse/condominium market is providing buyers with potential investment opportunities.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service, available inventory is at an all-time high in the townhouse/condominium market. Realtors listed 30 percent more properties in this class in January when compared to last January. Currently there are 2,694 Realtor listings in the townhouse/condo category, with 331 sales slated to close during the next month.

The increase in inventory may partly be explained by the recent increase in development and construction projects, particularly in the downtown and midtown areas.

"Right now is a great time to purchase a condo or townhome," said Minnette Boesel, HAR Board of Director and owner of Minnette Boesel Properties. "There is more inventory, which gives consumers great choices."

Boesel also said she expects construction in the townhouse/condo market within the inner loop corridor to level off in the near future. However, she predicts an increase in development and construction in downtown's East End.

The median price of these new construction townhomes/condos has increased to $275,375 as compared to the median price of $260,000 during January 2002. Additionally, the median price for resale townhouse/condo properties increased to $77,500 as compared to $63,000 during the same month last year.

Due to consumer demand, townhome communities are now being constructed in the suburbs, including new projects in The Woodlands and Katy.

"The popularity of townhomes is increasing as young professionals and empty nesters come to realize the convenience and the easy accessibility to jobs and entertainment located inside the loop," said HAR Chairman Dovie Morgan. "Overall, Houstonians are becoming more accustomed to the hassle-free type of lifestyle they provide."

Townhouse/condo sales remained stable in January, only decreasing by 36 properties in January 2003 from January 2002.

"Recently built townhomes, those less than five years old, are beginning to recycle," Morgan said. "We are beginning to see original owners place their properties back on the market."

All listing categories combined, Houston's market showed an increase in sales and available listings.
January Market Comparison (all categories)
January 2002 January 2003 Percent Change
Total property sales 3,721 3,743 + 0.6%
Total dollar volume $ 541 million $ 562 million + 3.9%
Active listings 27,786 34,012 + 22.4
Pending sales 3,198 3,211 + 0.4%
Single-family homes update

Total sales for single-family homes increased to 3,053, representing 27 more listings sold than last year's figure of 3,026. The median price of single-family homes in January reached $129,000, representing a 3.3 percent increase over last January's $124,900.

January county comparison

The MLS system serves as an aggregate for Houston and its surrounding counties. Sales activity may be brisk in one area, and not necessarily the other. The following chart illustrates the sales activity for single-family homes in each of the major counties that represent the majority of the listings in the MLS including Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria and Montgomery counties.
Single-Family Resale Homes Listed by Realtors
# of Sales
Jan 2002 Jan 2003 % Change
Harris 2,120 1,933 -8.8%
Fort Bend 305 296 -3%
Montgomery 225 215 -4.4%
Brazoria 87 95 +9.2%
Median Price
Jan 2002 Jan 2003 % Change
$102,500 $109,900 +7.2%
$137,000 $144,950 +5.8%
$122,000 $125,900 +3.2%
$129,900 $143,500 +10.5%

Single-Family New Homes Listed by Realtors*
# of Sales
Jan 2002 Jan 2003 % Change
Harris 321 347 +8.1%
Fort Bend 114 83 -27.2%
Montgomery 45 49 +8.9%
Brazoria 28 31 +10.7%
Median Price
Jan 2002 Jan 2003 % Change
$204,900 $162,200 -20.8%
$178,119 $181,300 +1.8%
$166,939 $150,500 -9.8%
$191,707 $212,677 +10.9%
* This chart represents new homes that are listed by Realtors, and is not representative of all new homes sold in these areas.
Houston Real Estate Milestones
  • Most homes ever sold in January.
  • Highest median price for single-family homes ever-recorded in January.
  • Highest inventory ever recorded in January.
  • Highest number of pending sales ever recorded in January.
    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by more than 17,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. For specific questions regarding a certain area, contact your Realtor. 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.)

    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 34,000 listings can be found on the Internet at