According to a press release today by HAR, Houston’s housing inventory fell to a 2.9 month supply compared with a 4.1 month supply last November. Houston has recorded its 30th straight positive month, causing the inventory to hit its all-time low.
Reprinted from HAR Press Release December 17th
HOUSTON’S HOUSING INVENTORY REACHES AN HISTORIC LOW IN NOVEMBER
Despite another month of positive sales and pricing, there are signs of tapered demand
HOUSTON — (December 17, 2013) — Houston home sales recorded a 30th straight month in positive territory in November, with buyers plunging inventory levels to an all-time low. The supply of homes fell to 2.9 months of inventory compared to 4.1 months in November 2012. Throughout 2013, inventory has dwindled from a 3.6-month supply in January to a 3.1-month supply in October, as more homes were being snapped up than were listed for sale.
Nonetheless, there are signs that the buying frenzy may be tapering. According to the latest monthly report prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS®, home sales climbed 3.3 percent year-over-year – the smallest one-month sales increase since June 2011. November single-family home sales totaled 5,108. That is the lowest one-month sales volume since February of this year.
An ever-shrinking supply of homes put more upward pressure on pricing, as it has each month throughout the year. The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 8.7 percent to $181,000. The average price increased 8.4 percent year-over-year to $245,707. Both figures represent the highest prices for a November in Houston.
For the past several months, all but the under-$80,000 segment of the single-family market have experienced sales growth. November, however, saw declining sales in both the sub-$80,000 market and the $80,000-$150,000 market, and a slowing rate of closings in the $150,000-$500,000 range. The luxury market performed at rates consistent with earlier months of the year.
“It does not come as a surprise that the Houston housing market is showing signs of slowing down,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Coldwell Banker, United REALTORS®. “There simply isn’t a plentiful supply of available homes out there. We are also in the midst of the holidays when, traditionally, home sales ease as consumers focus on their families and gift-giving. In addition, there has been an uptick in mortgage interest rates, which may have convinced prospective buyers to postpone home purchases until the new year.”
Foreclosure property sales reported in the HAR Multiple Listing Service (MLS) fell 49.0 percent compared to November 2012. Foreclosures currently make up 7.7 percent of all property sales, down from 19.6 percent at the start of the year. The median price of foreclosures rose 8.6 percent to $88,000.
November sales of all property types in totaled 6,180, a 5.6 percent increase over the same month last year. Total dollar volume for properties sold rose 13.1 percent to $1.5 billion versus $1.3 billion a year earlier.