Posted on January 22, 2014 - 09:18 AM
by BILL RAPP
A booming economy and dwindling supply of homes for sale translated into a record year for Houston’s residential market.
Sales of single-family homes shot up 17.4 percent to 73,232 in 2013, The Houston Association of Realtors says in its latest monthly report.
That surpasses the previous annual high set in 2006, when 72,376 homes were sold across the region.
People are moving here for jobs – the Houston region created more than 86,000 last year – and they’re buying homes. The realty group’s stats show that is pushing inventory down and driving up prices.
The median home price hit $180,000 in 2013, up 9.4% over the $164,500 reported in 2012.
Houston ended the year setting all sorts of records for single-family home sales. Here are the some highlights:
Highest median sales price for a December.
The median price rose to $188,500 in December, up 10.9% over the Dec. 2012 median of $170,000. The median peaked at $192,410 in June.
Highest average sales price for a December.
The average price rose to $265,017, up 10.3% from $240,326 in December of 2012.
Lowest inventory on record.
The supply of houses on the market shrank to 2.6 months, meaning that’s how long it would take to sell everything on the market at the current pace. That’s down from 3.7 months in Dec. 2012 and 5.8 months in Dec. 2011. In a balanced market, inventory is about six months.
Larry Martin of Larry Martin Real Estate Services, who sells homes in the West University Place, Bellaire and Braes Heights areas, shared his outlook for 2014.
“I think its going to be pretty much more of the same unless something dramatic happens with interest rates,” Martin said. “That makes more inventory pop up because there’s less buyers.”
Will the prices continue to rise?
“It’s all about supply and demand,” Martin said. “If there’s not enough houses, they’re going to keep going up.”