Lower interest rates pushed fence-sitters into buying mode as single-family home sales rose nearly five percent in March compared to a year earlier. Housing inventory expanded to its highest level in five months, laying fertile ground for consumers as we move further into the spring buying season.
After a generally mixed performance in January, the Houston housing market showed considerably more vitality in February, particularly among rental properties. Unlike January, which brought declining sales across all pricing segments, sales last month rose among homes priced between $150,000 and $750,000, with the high end of that range performing best. Inventory continued to grow, generating an improved supply of homes for consumers as the spring buying season gets underway.
Fresh on the heels of a record-breaking 2018, home sales across greater Houston began the new year at a dramatically slower pace. Sales volume fell in all pricing segments in January, including the luxury home market, which saw its first decline in 12 months. However, rental activity was strong, and inventory levels continued expanding, providing consumers with more choices in the lead-up to the traditionally busy spring buying season.
The Houston real estate market set new records in 2018 despite uncertainty across the region when the year began, with many survivors of Hurricane Harvey still rebuilding their homes and lives. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed 2017’s record volume by nearly four percent. However, as 2019 gets underway, housing inventory remains constrained – still sitting below its more balanced pre-Harvey levels.
In a display of textbook seasonality, with the holidays sending consumers into their annual retail frenzy, Houston home sales slowed slightly in November. However, it was not enough to knock the real estate market off its record-setting pace.
After a down month in September, directly influenced by the surge in post-Hurricane Harvey home sales exactly one year earlier, the Houston real estate market returned to more normalized conditions in October with gains in both sales volume and pricing
After a sizzling summer of home sales and rentals, the Houston housing market cooled in September, showing no apparent lingering effects of Hurricane Harvey as it did in August.
Thousands of people are still haunted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects as they continue to rebuild their homes and lives. Even now, the storm is affecting the way housing numbers compare August 2018 to August 2017. The traditional year-over-year measurements that the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR) uses to track market trends have been thrown out of whack because Harvey halted most real estate activity across the greater Houston market during the final week of August 2017 and beyond.