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

December 2006 Sales
Moderate Gains In Average Home Prices Equal Big Value For Houston Area Homeowners
Prices Inch Up More Than 5 Percent While Maintaining Affordability
HOUSTON - (January 24, 2007) - The Houston real estate market continues to differentiate itself from the nation in seemingly cornering the market on affordability, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of Realtors®. Sales and prices ended 2006 with further strength, capping another record-breaking year for the greater Houston area.

Total property sales for the month registered 7,136, which was a 1.1 percent increase over December 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of more than $1.4 billion, an 11.5 percent increase compared to last year's nearly $1.3 billion in December sales. Year-end sales totaled 87,435 properties with dollar volume exceeding $16.6 billion, compared to 79,012 properties worth $14.2 billion for all of 2005. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for December of $150,000, and the average single-family home price came in at $206,228, increases from last year of 1.4 and 5.3 percent, respectively. The full-year median sales price was $149,610, or an increase of 5.4 percent compared to 2005. The full-year average sales price was $198,503, or an increase of 5.5 percent compared to last year.

"Our members are reporting strength in the greater Houston region across all geographic areas and market segments," said Rob Cook, HAR Chairman and broker/owner of Robert D. Cook Properties. "We enter 2007 with sustained strength in the local economy and job growth, which will further the real estate market for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. Houston and the surrounding area is a great place to live, and we hope to help even more people realize the American Dream in the coming year."

December Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston's overall housing market in December 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 December was 43,438 properties, which was an increase of 9.8 percent versus last December and the sixth month with a year-over-year increase, after 10 consecutive previous declines. The figure was a decrease of 2,633 properties from last month, and shows new listings are staying in equilibrium with increased sales activity.

Month-end pending sales - those listings expected to close within the next 30 days - reached 4,369, which was up 8.3 percent from last year, and signals an expected strong beginning of 2007 for sales. The months inventory of single-family homes for December came in at 5.0 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 December reporting the 26th consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures.
All Categories December 2005 December 2006 Percent Change
Total property sales 7,056 7,136 +1.1%
Total dollar volume $1,289,650,514 $1,437,386,997 +11.5%
Average single-family sales price $195,772 $206,228 +5.3%
Median single-family sales price $148,000 $150,000 +1.4%
Active listings 39,550 43,438 +9.8%
Pending sales 4,033 4,369 +8.3%
Months inventory* 5.1 5.0 -1.5%
* 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 $150,000 was a record for the month of December and an increase of 1.4 percent compared to the prior year. The average sales price for single-family homes was $206,228 during December, which was up 5.3 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 $150,000, while another monthly record for the Houston market, is 30.9 percent less than the national median price, which reached $217,200 in November, 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 35 consecutive months that sales have been higher than the same month of the previous year. For December 2006, single-family home sales increased by 2.3 percent to 5,884, up from last year's 5,752.

HAR also reports existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market. For the month of December 2006, existing single-family home sales totaled 4,763, which was a 3.1 percent increase from December 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $141,500, an increase of 1.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The average sales price for the month of $190,225 was an increase of 5.8 percent from last year's level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston was up an enormous marginal 21.7 percent for December, with the median sales price for the month being $149,700. The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $177,080 in December 2006, which was a 14.1 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in December increased slightly compared to last year's sales, with 671 units being sold last month, versus 669 properties in December 2005, or a scant 0.3 percent increase in year-over-year sales.

Houston Real Estate Milestones in December
  • Reached the highest average sales price for single-family homes for December.
  • Marked the highest median sales price for single-family homes for December.
  • Marked the highest dollar volume of sales for December.
  • Recorded the highest number of single-family homes ever sold in December.
    The computerized Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 25,000 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 50,000 properties may 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 26,000-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.