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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®

February 2006 Sales
Houston Housing Sales Triple National Growth Rate
Houston Market Continues to Play Opposite of National Trends
HOUSTON – (March 23, 2006) – There is never a true comparison with other large cities and Houston in the world of real estate. Our market continues to do its own thing in sales and pricing. The Houston market experienced continued strength in February, with the highest sales on record for the month, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

While other real estate markets across the country are experiencing sluggish sales activity, but higher prices, the greater Houston housing market continues to see strength in both sales and pricing. It is another sign that the Houston region is setting itself apart from the national “bubble” worries. For many national markets, prices are skyrocketing, while sales decrease.

“Our market is not characteristic of the nation in so many ways, but one of the more unusual facts is that we are continuing to see increased sales activity, while many others are not,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing Director for Greenwood King Properties. “And our prices are increasing more moderately, allowing Houston to remain one of the most affordable markets in the United States.”

Total property sales for the month totaled 5,792, which was a 16.4 percent increase over February 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $1.1 billion, a 26.4 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $800 million in February sales. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached $142,960, and the average home price rose to $191,779, both increases from last year of 4.4 and 7.8 percent, respectively.

February Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in February saw increases across the board including total property sales, average sales price, median sales price, 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 February was 40,857 properties, which was a decrease of 3.5 percent versus last February. The figure was an increase of approximately 40 properties from last month though, which continued last month’s reversal from the previous five months of month-over-month declines. Month-end pending sales of properties reached 4,756, which was up 23.5 percent from last year, and already signals a very strong March 2006, compared to 6,548 properties sold in March 2005. The months inventory of single-family homes for February remained at 5.2 months, which signals more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes.
All Categories February 2005 February 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 4,975 5,792 +16.4%
Total dollar volume $843,704,972 $1,066,692,384 +26.4%
Average single-family sales price $177,871 $191,779 +7.8%
Median single-family sales price $136,880 $142,960 +4.4%
Active listings 42,330 40,857 -3.5%
Pending sales 3,850 4,756 +23.5%
Months inventory* 5.8 5.2 -11.0%
* 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 reached a record for the month of February at $142,960, which was an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the prior year, and the average sales price for single-family homes was $191,779 during February, which was up 7.8 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 $142,960 is 31.4 percent less than the national median price, which reached $208,500 in February, 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 14.0 percent to 4,648 in February, up from last year’s 4,078.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of February 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,020, which was a 16.4 percent increase from February 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $136,000, an increase of 5.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $177,862 was an increase of 6.8 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston rose by 4.3 percent, from $115,000 in February 2005 to $120,000 last month. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $152,991 in February 2006, which was a 4.9 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in February increased substantially this month compared to last year’s sales, with 552 units being sold last month, versus 446 properties in February 2005.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in February
  • Reached the highest average sales price for single-family homes in the month of     February.
  • Marked the highest median sales price for single-family homes in the month of February.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales in the month of February.
  • Reached the highest level of pending sales at February month end.
    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.