Houston homes sales continue to increase. The supply of homes is low and homeowners are getting multiple offers the same day their homes go on the market. Home inventory hasn’t been this low since 1999, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
Normally, January is a slow month for home sales. However, this January was very busy. The total homes sold in January were 4,680. This was an increase of 29 percent over January 2012. Amy Bernstein, owner of Bernstein Realty said, “This market is in an unbelievable frenzy. I’ve never seen a market like this.”
“The majority of homes that come on the market today and are priced right – or even priced a little high – are getting multiple offers on the first day.” She’s even received 12 offers from buyers on the same house. Some buyers submit offers before the house officially goes on the market.
In January, housing inventory decreased to 3.6 months. This is the lowest it’s been since December of 1999. Home inventory has decreased 20 percent compared to January of 2012. Danny Frank, chairman of the local Realtors association is concerned with the dwindling inventory. He said, “We are maintaining a watchful eye on the local housing supply because a significant decline from current inventory levels could potentially have an adverse effect on sales and drive prices disproportionately higher.”
House prices are increasing. The average sales price in January was $200,296 which is the highest sales price ever recorded for the month of January. Interest rates are at an all-time low. People can buy a house and get a thirty year loan with a mere four percent interest. Interest rates haven’t been this low in over 50 years. Houston’s job market is increasing with a number of new companies opening up and contributing to home purchases. In addition, people who are in the energy business are relocating to Houston.
People are still strongly attracted to homes inside the loop, Memorial, Katy, Meyerland, and Bellaire. However, the entire Houston housing market is booming.
Home builders are pursuing tear-down lots in the inner loop and are very busy building homes to keep up with demand. Nationally, Houston has the largest amount of building construction permits issued. Builders have even started sending letters to homeowners to see if they may be interested in selling.
The high-end market is particularly in demand. Homes priced from $500,000 and up to the million-plus bracket increased 52 percent in January when compared to January of 2012.
Relators don’t expect the market to slow down anytime soon. Pending sales in January increased 13 percent over January of 2012. This is a strong indicator that the spring selling season will be exceptional. The housing market will keep realtors very busy for a while.
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