MLS Press Releases

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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®

August 2005 Sales
Summer Real Estate Market In Houston Ends With More Records
Complete Impact of Hurricane Katrina Not Yet Known
HOUSTON – (September 21, 2005) – Prior to any Hurricane Katrina-related impact, the Houston real estate market closed out the summer with solid increases across the board, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. The sales cycle for real estate is usually 30 to 90 days from the date the contract is signed so any impact on home sales as a result of the influx of possible new Houstonians from will not be reflected in the statistics for a minimum of another one to three months.

Newly executed leases (rentals) in the first two weeks of September exhibited a 116.6 percent increase versus the first two weeks of September 2004, and a 33.6 percent increase from the first two weeks of last month. While it cannot be determined whether the hurricane was responsible for the majority of that increase, the lease market will more quickly show any impact from people who are moving to Houston on either a temporary or permanent basis. Additionally, the lease listings in the MLS tend to be more single-family homes, townhouse, condos and high rises, rather than apartments.

Total property sales for the month totaled 8,106, which was a 16.6 percent increase over August 2004. Properties sold during the month reached a total of almost $1.5 billion, a 24.4 percent increase compared to last year’s almost $1.2 billion in August sales. Additionally, year-to-date total property sales reached 53,554, which is an increase of 9.4 percent over the same period of 2004.

“Our hearts go out to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and Houston area REALTORS have opened our arms to our new residents, trying to find homes for everyone in need,” said Toni C. Nelson, HAR Chair and Division Vice President for Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®. “The true spirit of Houstonians has become apparent, and I have never been more proud to be a native Houstonian as I am seeing everything that has been done to help our fellow Americans rebuild their homes and lives.”

August Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in August 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 August was 44,983 properties, which was an increase of 4.1 percent versus last August but down slightly from last month. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 5,357, which was up 20.7 percent from last year, but was up slightly from last month. The months inventory of single-family homes for August was down to 6.0 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.
August (all categories)
All Classes August 2004 August 2005 Percent Change
Total property sales 6,872 8,016 +16.6%
Total dollar volume $1,169,172,373 $1,455,013,970 +24.4%
Average single-family sales price $177,752 $189,639 +6.7%
Median single-family sales price $137,480 $143,900 +4.7%
Active listings 43,207 44,983 +4.1%
Pending sales 4,439 5,357 +20.7%
Months inventory* 6.3 6.0 -5.4%
* 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 $143,900 in August, which was an increase of 4.7 percent compared to the prior year, and the average price for single-family homes reached $189,639, which was up 6.7 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 all- time monthly records.

Houston’s current median price of $143,900 is 34.0 percent less than the national median price, which reached $217,900 in July, 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 16.8 percent to 6,667 in August, up from last year’s 5,710. In the first eight months of 2005, 44,369 single-family homes sold, which was a 9.8 percent increase over the 40,401 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 August 2005, existing single-family home sales totaled 5,925, which was a 19.6 percent increase from August 2004. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $137,500, an increase of 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $180,888 was an increase of 6.5 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston rose by 16.5 percent, from $97,000 in August 2004 to $113,000 last month. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $146,761 in August 2005, which was a 10.2 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in August were down compared to last year’s sales, with 701 units being sold last month, versus 665 properties in August 2004. So far, year-to date, 4,717 townhouse/condos have sold, which was a 1.6 percent increase compared to the 4,643 units sold during the same period of 2004.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in August
  • Reached the highest number of homes sold in August.
  • Reached the highest monthly average sales price for single-family homes in August.
  • Marked the highest monthly median sales price for single-family homes in August.
    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.