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

July 2003 Sales
Houston Home Sales Break Records for Third-Consecutive Month
Houstonians Scramble to Take Advantage of Interest Rates
HOUSTON (Aug. 13, 2003) - For the third-consecutive month, Houston's home sales shattered overall sales records as total sales for the month of July displayed a significant increase from last year. According to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service, the city is continuing to stay on its record-breaking pace.

Total sales for July 2003, consisting of single-family homes, town homes, multifamily, country homes, high-rise properties and lots listed on the MLS, topped out at 6,467, which is a 9.2 percent increase in cumulative sales from last year's 5,920. Total sales continue to rise ahead of last year's record-setting pace, with 36,880 listings sold to date. Year-to-date existing sales through July 2002 totaled 35,838.

"We heard rumors that mortgage rates were about to rise, so Houstonians jumped to take advantage of the low rates," said HAR Chairman Dovie Morgan. "Now that we know those rumors are true, it will be interesting to see how they affect sales in the next few months."

Despite the fact that interest rates are beginning to climb, pending sales are up 2.7 percent from last year, Morgan said. Pending sales serve as the traditional indicator of properties scheduled to close within the next month.
July Market Comparison
July 2002 July 2003 Percent Change
Total home sales 5,920 6,467 +9.2%
Total dollar volume $972 million $1.1 billion +18.4%
Active listings 32,737 38,485 +17.6%
Pending sales 3,960 4,066 +2.7%
Single-family Homes Update

The median price of single-family homes reached $143,000 in July, representing the highest price ever recorded in Houston. The median price of $143,000 was 5.9 percent higher than last July's $135,000.

Additionally, total sales for single-family homes increased by 10 percent to 5,460 from last year's 4,961. Within this category, 555 of the homes sold were new homes listed by Realtors, versus 576 new homes sold through the MLS during July 2002.*

The following chart displays the number of single-family homes sold in July based on price range.
July Single-family Price Class Comparison
July 2002 Sales July 2003 Sales Percent Change
$1 - $149,999 2,933 2,965
$150,000 - $299,999 1,518 1,850
$300,000 - $499,999 334 435
$500,000 - $999,999 150 175
$1 million and more 26 35
Homes selling for more than $1 million increased 35 percent from last year.

"Houston's upper end market is stronger than we realize," said HAR Board of Director and Greenwood King Properties Marketing Director Lorraine Abercrombie. "For example, year-to-date sales within the River Oaks/Avalon market are ahead of the same period in 2002, both in volume and number of transactions. There were 54 sales in River Oaks/Avalon during the first six months of 2003 with a volume of $71 million plus, compared to 43 sales and a volume of $43 million plus in 2002.

Houston Real Estate Milestones
  • Highest number of total sales ever recorded in single month
  • Highest single-family median price ever recorded
  • Total dollar volume for single month exceeded $1 billion for second-consecutive month
  • Highest level of inventory since May 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 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.)