It’s hard to tell that the spring home buying season has started in Houston, because real estate transactions throughout the greater Houston area never slowed down during the traditional quieter winter months. The month of March marked the 22nd consecutive month that Houston has experienced positive home sales. Houston added approximately 119,000 jobs over the last 12 months and this along with the continued low interest rates resulted in the need for housing.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, home sales in Houston increased 7 percent compared to March 2012. Housing inventory for the first two months of the year was 3.6 months and in March it decreased slightly to 3.5 months.
The added demand for housing and the lower supply of homes is also driving home prices. The median home price increased to $272,000, a 6.5 percent increase. This is an all-time record high for median home prices in Houston. The average home price increased 4.6 percent to $236,195 over March 2012, which is the second highest level ever for Houston.
In March, a total of 5,779 single-family homes were sold. The last time the Houston real estate market experienced such high sales volumes was in August 2012. With the exception of those priced under $80,000, every housing segment experienced increases. The largest sales volume increase recorded was for houses selling between $80,000 and $250,000.
“Realtors continue to see multiple offers on single-family homes and condos throughout the Houston market, which suggested our local economy is 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, said Danny Frank HAR chairman with Prudential Anderson Properties.
Houston was ranked number one for job growth among the 20 most popular US cities by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics when it reported the addition of 118,700 net jobs during the past year. This is a 4.5 percent hiring increase since late 2011.
Meanwhile, Houston foreclosure sales have been decreasing. When compared to March 2012, they decreased 27.2 percent. Foreclosure sales in March accounted for 12.3 percent of sales, which was a decrease of 15.8 percent compared to the previous month. The median price of foreclosures increased to $86,000, a 5.8 percent increase.
When compared to March of last year there were a total of 7,006 home sales for all property types, a 19.4 percent increase. The total dollar volume for property sold in March increased to $1.6 billion, which was a 23.6 percent increase when compared to $1.3 billion in March of last year.
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