The Houston real estate market is giving us some mixed signals as we start the year. Overall sales activity is up. However, average Home prices are slightly lower, and luxury home sales activity is down for the 3rd consecutive month. This may be good news for buyers in some markets, while sellers still benefit from low inventories in others. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers.
According to the latest report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), single-family home sales for the full year rose 8.7 percent compared to January 2017. For the 3rd consecutive month, the number of sales for single family homes priced at $750,000 and above fell. This dynamic may have a bit to do with the number of luxury homes that became unavailable after Hurricane Harvey.
The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 3.8 percent to $218,000 – the highest median ever for a January. The average price declined 2.1 percent to $270,303.**
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, the 34,080 active listings in January 2018 represented a 0.4 percent increase over January 2017. Pending sales rose to 6,313, a 10.4 percent increase from January 2017, and total home sales rose 8.7 percent to 5,468.
Days on Market, or the number of days it took the average home to sell, increased slightly from 65 to 67 days
Inventory held steady year-over-year with a 3.3-months supply.
Considering the state of the economy and the stability in inventory, it is unclear that declining of luxury home sales is fundamentally a demand issue. Although rising interest rates might be curbing some demand, it is possible that the impact of Harvey in large luxury markets is continuing stifling overall sales activity. We will know more as we enter the busy Spring and Summer months.