April was the best month for home sales in Houston in almost six years as home buyers devoured new listings at a pace that local Realtors have not seen since before the recession.
With inventory exceptionally tight, Houston home prices hit all-time record highs in April, according to theHouston Association of Realtors.
The April surge continues an impressive 23-month real estate winning streak generated by low mortgage rates — with interest rates less than 4 percent — combined with the city’s strong economy — more than 111,000 new jobs were created in Houston over the last 12 months.
“The market is absolutely on fire in all areas,” says Bernstein Realty owner Amy Bernstein, a 30-year veteran of Houston realty. “Everyone asks: ‘How long do think this will last?’ No one knows. But definitely we haven’t seen any slowdown.”
Many homes, even houses that are priced a little too high, will be shown to would-be buyers several times on the very day they are put on the market, Bernstein says. And many sellers receive multiple offers within two days of putting their house up for sale.
The inventory of homes for sale is very low. There’s only a 3.4-month supply of homes for sale, the leanest inventory since 1999. Some people are delaying putting their homes up for sale because they know prices are going up. Meanwhile, a lot of people are moving to Houston for new jobs.
The low supply and high demand mean prices are going up. The median price of a single-family home — the price at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — rose more than 14 percent to $184,900. The average price jumped 14 percent from last April to $253,907. Both represent record high prices for Houston.
The Realtors association reported 6,482 single-family homes were sold in April, the highest monthly sales total since August 2007. The April sales figure represented a 27 percent gain over April of last year.
Sales of condominiums and town homes were up 31 percent over last April.
The number of “pending sales” in the pipeline is also up sharply, indicating that sales will be strong through the summer. Plus many families feel the pressure to buy a home and get moved in before school starts in August.
“The Houston housing market shows absolutely no sign of letting up,” says HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties.
Source: Ralph Bivens for Houston CultureMap