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David Mendel

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

November 2005 Sales
Santa Comes Early For Houston Real Estate Market
Home Sales Set For Another Record Breaking Year
HOUSTON – (December 20, 2005) – It’s another gift for the market this holiday season as total sales for single-family homes in Houston increased by 8.7 percent to 4,735 in November, up from last year’s 4,357, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

Total property sales for the month totaled 5,810, which was a 10.5 percent increase over November 2004. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $1.1 billion, an 18.6 percent increase compared to last year’s nearly $900 million in November sales. Additionally, year-to-date total property sales reached 71,836, which is an increase of 9.1 percent over the same period of 2004, and just shy of breaking the full year 2004 record of 72,184 properties.

“This is an incredible way to close out 2005,” said Toni C. Nelson, HAR Chair and Division Vice President for Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®. “Our market is unique in that its affordability can often mean slower growth for sellers, but I am pleased to see good news for both buyers and sellers this year and leading into next year.”

November Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in November saw 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 November was 42,247 properties, which was an increase of only 0.3 percent versus last November but down 1.1 percent from last month, as the market continues to tighten somewhat, possibly as a result of the hurricanes. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 4,089, which was up 12.2 percent from last year, and shows that we remain on track for a record-breaking 2005. The months inventory of single-family homes for November continued its downward trend to 5.5 months, which remains low, signaling more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes.
November (all categories)
All Classes November 2004 November 2005 Percent Change
Total property sales 5,260 5,810 +10.5%
Total dollar volume $893,707,445 $1,060,022,990 +18.6%
Average single-family sales price $177,273 $193,810 +9.3%
Median single-family sales price $132,000 $145,000 +9.8%
Active listings 42,120 42,247 +0.3%
Pending sales 3,643 4,089 +12.2%
Months inventory* 6.0 5.5 -8.5%
* 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 November, which was an increase of 9.8 percent compared to the prior year, and the average price for single-family homes reached a new all-time record of $193,810, which was up 9.3 percent versus the same period last year. This is unusual because prices typically decrease after the peak summer selling season. The previous all-time record average sales price was reached in June 2005 at $193,415. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that figure.

Houston’s current median price of $145,000 is 32.9 percent less than the national median price, which reached $216,200 in October, 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 increased by 8.7 percent to 4,735 in November, up from last year’s 4,357. In the first 11 months of 2005, 59,306 single-family homes sold, which was a 9.1 percent increase over the 54,382 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 November 2005, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,049, which was a 10.6 percent increase from November 2004. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $138,500, an increase of 10.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $181,901 was an increase of 9.7 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston spiked by 25.4 percent, from $96,000 in November 2004 to $120,410 last month. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $155,106 in November 2005, which was also a sizable 12.6 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in November increased this month compared to last year’s sales, with 533 units being sold last month, versus 459 properties in November 2004. So far, year-to date, 6,344 townhouse/condos have sold, which was a 2.7 percent increase compared to the 6,180 units sold during the same period of 2004.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in November
  • Reached the all-time highest average sales price for single-family homes in a single     month.
  • Marked the highest monthly median sales price for single-family homes in November.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in November.
  • Already surpassed full-year 2004 dollar volume in only 11 months of 2005.
    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 22,000 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 about 43,000 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 23,000-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.