MLS Press Releases

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Matthew Burrus

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David Mendel

Public Relations Manager

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

October 2006 Sales
Greater Houston Area Redefines A Healthy Housing Market
Sales Up 6%, Prices Up Nearly 3%
HOUSTON — (November 17, 2006) — We may be in need of a new economic term for the greater Houston area, as our real estate market continues a steady growth pattern with good news for buyers and sellers. While national numbers have shown weakness, Houston is being highlighted as one of the remaining positive markets across the country.

Total property sales for the month registered 6,792, which was a 6.0 percent increase over October 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $1.3 billion, a 9.9 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $1.1 billion in October sales. Year-to-date dollar volume is just a hair shy of the full-year figure for last year, with $14.0 billion of property changing hands, compared to $14.2 billion for all of 2005. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for October of $146,000, and the average single-family home price came in at $189,527, increases from last year of 2.8 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

“As we near the end of the year, we remain hopeful that these promising trends remain. This will be great news for those planning to complete a transaction before December 31 of this year. We continue to count our blessings for a healthy marketplace,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing Director for Greenwood King Properties. “We keep a close eye on the nation, not as an indicator of the Houston market, but to make comparisons for those who may be considering a move from the east or west coasts to the Houston area. Fortunately, we can still share good news with them.”

October Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in October saw increases in most categories, including total property sales, average sales price, median sales price, and overall total dollar volume on a year-over-year basis.

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of October was 46,673 properties, which was an increase of 7.8 percent versus last October and the fourth month with a year-over-year increase, after 10 consecutive previous declines. The figure was an increase of 173 properties from last month, which is an increase of more than 3,300 homes in the last five months and shows new listings are keeping up with increased sales activity.

Month-end pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – reached 4,883, which was up 19.0 percent from last year, and signals an expected strong November for sales. The months inventory of single-family homes for October came in at 5.5 months. This statistic signals more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes, as displayed by October reporting the 24th consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures.
All Categories October 2005 October 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 6,406 6,792 +6.0%
Total dollar volume $1,138,122,336 $1,250,245,281 +9.9%
Average single-family sales price $188,680 $189,527 +0.4%
Median single-family sales price $142,000 $146,000 +2.8%
Active listings 43,303 46,673 +7.8%
Pending sales 4,105 4,883 +19.0%
Months inventory* 5.6 5.5 -3.0%
* 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 of $146,000 was a record for the month of October and an increase of 2.8 percent compared to the prior year. The average sales price for single-family homes was $189,527 during October, which was up 0.4 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.

Houston’s current median price of $146,000, while a monthly record for the Houston market, is 33.6 percent less than the national median price, which reached $219,800 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 continued its streak of year-over-year increases, marking 33 consecutive months that sales have been higher than the same month of the previous year. For October 2006, single-family home sales increased by 7.3 percent to 5,600, up from last year’s 5,218.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of October 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,766, which was a 7.6 percent increase from October 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $139,000, an increase of 3.0 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $177,626 was an increase of 0.5 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston was up a marginal 0.9 percent for October, with the median sales price for the month being $115,000. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $151,457 in October 2006, which was a 4.8 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in October increased compared to last year’s sales, with 617 units being sold last month, versus 566 properties in October 2005, or a 9.0 percent increase in year-over-year sales.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in October
  • Reached the highest average sales price for single-family homes for October.
  • Marked the highest median sales price for single-family homes for October.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales for October.
  • Recorded the highest number of single-family homes ever sold in October.
    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.