Since real estate transactions throughout the greater Houston area never slowed down during the traditional quieter winter months, it’s difficult to tell that the spring home buying season has started. March marks the 22nd consecutive month of positive home sales for Houston. This is due to the addition of almost 119,000 jobs over the past 12 months, which resulted in the need for housing, along with the continued low interest rates.
Home sales increased 17 percent compared to last March, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. During the first two months of the year, housing inventory was at 3.6 months and decreased slightly in March to 3.5 months.
Home prices increased because of the lower supply of homes and the added demand. The median home price increased 6.5 percent to $272,000, which is an all-time record high for Houston. The average price increased to $236,195, which was a 4.6 percent increase over March of last year. This is the second highest level ever in Houston.
A total of 5,779 single-family homes sold in March. We haven’t seen sales volume this high in one month since August 2012. Every housing segment experienced increases with the exception of those priced under $80,000. The greatest sales volume increase was recorded for houses selling between $80,000 and $250,000.
Danny Frank HAR chairman with Prudential Anderson Properties said, “Realtors continue to see multiple offers on single-family homes and condos throughout the Houston market, which suggests that our local economies growing stronger by the day. Gov. Rick Perry recently stated that Texas is the fastest-growing state in the country, and most of those people seem to be coming to the greater Houston area because our job market is better than that of Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.”
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked Houston number one for job growth among the 20 most popular US cities when it reported the addition of 118,700 net jobs during the past year. This is a 4.5 percent hiring increase since the fall of 2011.
Foreclosure sales on the other hand, have been steadily decreasing. There was a 27.2 percent decrease when compared to March 2012. Foreclosure sales for the month of March, which were 12.3 percent, decreased 15.8 percent compared to the previous month. And, the median price of foreclosures increased 5.8 percent to $86,000.
There were a total of 7,006 home sales for all property types, which was a 19.4 percent increase over March of last year. The total dollar volume for property sold increased 23.6 percent to $1.6 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in March a year earlier.