Temperatures weren’t the only thing soaring in August. Home sales registered another hot month, as low mortgage interest rates kept consumers in a buying mood.
Despite continued strength in the Houston real estate market fueled by more robust inventory and low interest rates, June home sales could not match the historic levels of a year earlier, in June of 2018. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), single-family home sales were down 3.4 percent. However, on a year-to-date basis, sales are still outpacing 2018’s record volume.
Encouraged by continued low interest rates and a growing selection of housing options, home buyers kept the greater Houston real estate market in positive territory for a fourth straight month in May. As it did in April, the luxury segment (homes priced at $750,000 and above) led the way in sales volume, and rental properties moved briskly. Housing inventory grew to its largest level since August 2017, meeting consumer demand as the market prepares to segue into summer.
Lower mortgage interest rates, improving oil prices, steady economic growth and a more plentiful supply of housing translated to a strong month for home sales throughout greater Houston in April. Luxury homes (priced at $750,000 and above) drew the greatest volume of sales followed closely by homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. Housing inventory grew to its highest level since last September, keeping up with consumer demand midway through the spring buying season.
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.