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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 2006 Sales
Greater Houston Market Proves All Real Estate Is Local
August Statistics Show Continued Strenght In Housing
HOUSTON — (September 21, 2006) — Housing sales in the greater Houston region in August definitely proved that all real estate is local, as the Houston market continued to defy national reports of a collapsing real estate market. That simply is not the case in the Houston area, and there are no obvious signs of impending doom at this point. The rising number of active listings, which is typical for the peak summer sales season, has been offset by sales volume increasing at a faster rate year over year, helping maintain a healthy and balanced market.

Total property sales for the month totaled 8,451, which was a 5.5 percent increase over August 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of more than $1.6 billion, a 12.8 percent increase compared to last year’s more than $1.4 billion in August sales. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for August of $152,000, and the average single-family home price topped the $200,000 mark for the fourth month in a row at $200,555, increases from last year of 5.6 and 6.6 percent, respectively.

“We just closed out the most active summer ever for Houston real estate, with the highest number of properties sold and for the highest prices of any summer in the history of the city,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR Chair and Marketing Director for Greenwood King Properties. “Houstonians and people living in southeast Texas are so fortunate to have affordable housing options but also the opportunity to recognize a reasonable return on what is likely the biggest investment of their lives—their home.”

August Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in August 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 August was 46,201 properties, which was an increase of 2.7 percent versus last August and the second month with a year-over-year increase, after 10 consecutive previous declines. The figure was an increase of 588 properties from last month, which is an increase of more than 2,600 homes in the last two months and shows new listings may be outpacing sales activity.

Month-end pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – reached 5,398, which was up 0.8 percent from last year, and signals a fairly strong September for sales. The months inventory of single-family homes for August came in at 5.6 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 August reporting the 22nd consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures.
All Categories August 2005 August 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 8,013 8,451 +5.5%
Total dollar volume $1,446,842,924 $1,632,352,578 +12.8%
Average single-family sales price $188,181 $200,555 +6.6%
Median single-family sales price $144,000 $152,000 +5.6%
Active listings 44,983 46,201 +2.7%
Pending sales 5,357 5,398 +0.8%
Months inventory* 6.0 5.6 -6.5%
* 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 of $152,000 was a record for the month of August and an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the prior year. The average sales price for single-family homes was $200,555 during August, which was up 6.6 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 $152,000, while a monthly record for the Houston market, is 34.3 percent less than the national median price, which reached $231,200 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 continued its streak of year-over-year increases, marking 31 consecutive months that sales have been higher than the same month of the previous year. For August 2006, single-family home sales increased by 5.9 percent to 7,052, up from last year’s 6,661.

HAR is now also reporting existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of August 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 6,126, which was a 5.8 percent increase from August 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $145,800, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $191,139 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 was up 4.5 percent for August, with the median sales price for the month being $119,950. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $153,066 in August 2006, which was a 3.7 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in August increased compared to last year’s sales, with 708 units being sold last month, versus 690 properties in July 2005, or a 2.6 percent increase in year-over-year sales.

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