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

May 2007 Sales
Houston Home Prices Heat Up with Summer; All-time Record Set
Area Sales Cool Slightly, as Subprime Impact Comes to Reality
HOUSTON — (June 14, 2007) – Single-family home sales in May declined compared to the same month last year, reversing April’s modest gain, but year-to-date sales are still in positive territory. Prices last month continued to show strength though, as both the median and average sales price extended recent growth trends. The much-reported problems in the subprime lending market, as well resultant differences in price classes of properties have been cited as possible contributors to the lower sales levels.  Sales of those homes in the $80,000 to $140,000 price range, which made up 31.9 percent of sales in May, were down 8.3 percent versus the same period last year.  Conversely, sales of homes sold for more than $500,000 showed a 14.6 percent increase in activity.

Total property sales for the month registered 8,532, which was a 1.2 percent decrease versus May 2006.  Properties sold during the month reached a total of more than $1.7 billion, a 4.6 percent increase compared to last year’s nearly $1.7 billion in May sales.  Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for May of $155,000, and the average single-family home price came in at $214,540, increases from last year of 2.0 and 5.5 percent, respectively.  The average sales price figure is an all-time high for the greater Houston area.

“Pricing has continued to show strength in the greater Houston real estate market, and the fact that we set a new all-time high for the average sales price shows the health of the market,” said Rob Cook, HAR Chairman and broker/owner of Robert D. Cook Properties. “It is largely a function of Houston having a larger number of affordably priced homes that makes that particular price range have more impact on the overall market numbers.  Unfortunately, it is owners in that range that have been most impacted by the mortgage industry’s woes of late.”

May Monthly Market Comparison

All listing categories combined, Houston’s overall housing market in May saw mixed results, with increases in dollar volume, average sales prices, median sales price and months inventory on a year-over-year basis.

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of May was 50,376 properties, which was an increase of 16.2 percent versus last May and the 11th month with a year-over-year increase, after 10 consecutive previous declines.  The figure was an increase of nearly 1,300 properties from last month, which is not entirely unusual for the spring/early summer as more homes are listed for sale, but it was also an increase of more than 6,200 since the beginning of 2007.  It is still a figure to watch to see if inventory of available homes rises faster than sales, which could place downward pressure on prices as well.

Month-end pending sales – those listings expected to close within the next 30 days – reached 5,722, which was down 2.9 percent from last year and signals an initial expectation for possible weakness in June sales.  The months inventory of single-family homes for May came in at 6.0 months, which is the third year-over-year increase and does signal that new listings are slightly outpacing sales, but still signals more of a seller’s market.
All Categories May 2006 May 2007 Percent Change
Total property sales 8,638 8,532 -1.2%
Total dollar volume $1,667,455,623 $1,744,979,893 +4.6%
Average single-family sales price $203,398 $214,540 +5.5%
Median single-family sales price $152,010 $155,000 +2.0%
Active listings 43,362 50,376 +16.2%
Pending sales 5,892 5,722 -2.9%
Months inventory* 5.3 6.0 +12.4%
* 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 of $155,000 was a record for the month of May and an increase of 2.0 percent compared to the prior year.  The average sales price for single-family homes was $214,540 during May, which was up 5.5 percent versus the same period last year and was an all-time high for Houston.  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 $155,000, while another monthly record for the Houston market, is 29.7 percent less than the national median price, which reached $220,500 in April, 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 in May came in at 7,052, which reversed the modest gain seen in April sales figures, reflecting a 2.2 percent decrease versus the same month last year.  This level was still more than 1,000 homes than sold in April, and the year-to-date sales are up 0.9 percent versus the same period last year.

HAR also reports existing home statistics for the single-family home segment of the real estate market.  For the month of May 2007, existing single-family home sales totaled 5,994, which was a 1.1 percent decrease from May 2006. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $149,000, an increase of 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year.  The average sales price for the month of $202,181 was an increase of 6.1 percent from last year’s level.

Townhouse/Condo Update

The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment in Houston was up 11.0 percent for May, with the median sales price for the month being $134,000.  The average sales price for which a townhouse or condo sold in the greater Houston area was $163,015 in May 2007, which was a 7.7 percent increase from the same month last year.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in May followed single-family home sales and decreased compared to the previous year’s sales.  In the greater Houston area, 758 units were sold last month, versus 772 properties in May 2006, or a 1.8 percent decrease in year-over-year sales. 

Houston Real Estate Milestones in May
  • Highest ever average single-family home sales price
  • Highest ever number of single-family homes listed for sale
  • Second highest number of homes ever sold in May
  • Highest median sales price for the month of May and the third highest in Houston history
  • Highest median townhouse/condo sales price for the month of May and third highest ever
  • Highest average townhouse/condo sales price for the month of May and fourth highest ever
    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.