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

September 2005 Sales
Houston Area Single-Family Home Sales Drop For First Time In 19 Months
Evacuation Due to Hurricane Rita Resulted in Slight Decrease, as Activity Pushed to October
HOUSTON – (October 25, 2005) – The first impact from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were reflected in September’s real estate sales market, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Total sales for single-family homes in Houston decreased by 0.8 percent to 4,910 in September, down from last year’s 4,950. This is the first year-over-year monthly decrease in single- family homes sales in 19 months; however, total property sales still gained compared to last year.

Total property sales for the month totaled 5,977, which was a 0.7 percent increase over September 2004. Properties sold during the month reached a total of almost $1.1 billion, a 6.7 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $1.0 billion in September sales. Additionally, year-to-date total property sales reached 59, 525, which is an increase of 8.5 percent over the same period of 2004.

“Obviously, the evacuation of Houston and surrounding areas due to Hurricane Rita negatively impacted September real estate sales figures, pushing quite a few closings into October, but we continue to be on course to break last year’s housing sales record,” said Toni C. Nelson, HAR Chair and Division Vice President for Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®. “It will be interesting to see October’s home sales since one to two weeks of activity was lost in September, but it should be noted that this is an anomaly purely due to the hurricane and not necessarily a sign of a weakening real estate market.”

September Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in September experienced increases across the board including total property sales, average sales prices, median sales price, available inventory, pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – and overall total dollar volume on a year-over-year basis.

The number of available homes (active listings), at the end of September was 43,767 properties, which was an increase of 1.5 percent versus last September but down somewhat from last month, likely due to hurricane-related impact. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 3,626, which was down 8.1 percent from last year. The months inventory of single-family homes for September was also down to 5.8 months, which remains low, signaling more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is keeping up with the available supply of homes.
September (all categories)
All Classes September 2004 September 2005 Percent Change
Total property sales 5,933 5,977 +0.7%
Total dollar volume $1,026,422,502 $1,094,905,548 +6.7%
Average single-family sales price $179,217 $191,827 +7.0%
Median single-family sales price $134,900 $145,000 +7.5%
Active listings 43,122 43,767 +1.5%
Pending sales 3,945 3,626 -8.1%
Months inventory* 6.3 5.8 -8.4%
* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.
Single-family Homes Update

The overall median price of single-family homes reached $145,000 in September, which was an increase of 7.5 percent compared to the prior year, and the average price for single-family homes reached $191,827, which was up 7.0 percent versus the same period last year. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that figure. Both the median and average sales prices were monthly records for September.

Houston’s current median price of $145,000 is 31.7 percent less than the national median price, which reached $212,200 in September, according to statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS®. These data continue to show the tremendous value and lower cost of living afforded to Houstonians.

Additionally, total sales for single-family homes in Houston decreased by 0.8 percent to 4,910 in September, down from last year’s 4,950. In the first nine months of 2005, 49,271 single-family homes sold, which was an 8.6 percent increase over the 45,351 homes sold during the same period in 2004..

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of September 2005, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,316, which was a 2.0 percent increase from September 2004, countering the decrease in new home sales through the MLS that drove the overall sales figure lower. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $140,000, an increase of 9.4 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $181,820 was an increase of 8.2 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston rose slightly by 1.0 percent, from $107,450 in September 2004 to $108,500 last month. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $140,662 in September 2005, which was a 2.3 percent decrease from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in September reversed last month’s trend and increased this month compared to last year’s sales, with 541units being sold last month, versus 536 properties in September 2004. So far, year-to date, 5,245 townhouse/condos have sold, which was a 1.3 percent increase compared to the 5,179 units sold during the same period of 2004.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in September
  • Reached the highest number of properties sold in September.
  • Reached the highest monthly average sales price for single-family homes in September.
  • Marked the highest monthly median sales price for single-family homes in September.
    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 19,000 REALTORS throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties. Residential home sales statistics as well as listing information for more than 40,000 properties 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 includes 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.)

    Founded in 1918, the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) is a 20,000-member organization of real estate professionals engaged in every aspect of the industry, including residential and commercial sales and leasing, appraisal, property management and counseling. It is the largest individual membership trade association in Houston, as well as the second largest local association/board of REALTORS® in the United States.