In its monthly report the Houston Association of Realtors reveals that area home sales in August reflected a 37 percent increase over the same month last year. Hurricane Harvey is getting all the credit. Before and after Harvey, real estate closings, showings and mortgage lending in the area came to a full stop as house changing plans were put on hold. More data blips are expected in September but overall things are looking up.
"Harvey's effects lingered, however current market conditions are healthy, with single-family home sales and rentals up despite constrained inventory," Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, the association's chair said Wednesday. According to the report, buyers last month closed on 8,358 single-family homes as compared with 6,090 last year. Comparing the first part of August this year with last year shows a gain of activity of 7.6 percent last month with 5,844 sales.
Based on the adjusted figures, sales of all homes over $150,000 saw increases last month. Homes in the $500,000 to $749,999 price range were up 16.7 percent in sales. Those selling for more than $750,000 were up 15.4 percent, HAR's data show.
Other highlights from the report:
The median price of all the single-family homes that sold last month was up 3 percent to $236,870.
Single-family rentals last month were up 13.9 percent over last year. Adjusted for Harvey, they were up 7.6 percent. The average rent was up 3.4 percent to $1,926.
Townhouse and condominium leases were down in both scenarios.
Sales of townhomes and condominiums during the full month of August totaled 665 units, 43 percent over last year. The median sales price for the month was up 3.3 percent to $164,240.
Housing inventory remains constrained. Last month there was a 4.1-month supply of homes for sale. That's down fractionally from a year ago but still in the range considered to be as seller's market.