Is the economic slump from low oil prices finally catching up with the Houston real estate market?
Houston Chronicle Editor Nancy Sarnoff says no one is pinning one thing for the decline in home sales, and HAR claims the market in Texas’s largest city is still healthy. Like Dallas, Houston real estate is hurting at the highest end of the market. Unlike Dallas, it is also hurting at the lowest:
Sales were off in all price categories, with the worst declines in the lowest and highest ends of the market, according to the data, which is based on sales handled through the multiple listing service throughout throughout primarily Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.
Inventory, while still low by historical standards, reached 4 months in July, the highest it’s been since the fall of 2012.
Interesting: Townhome and condominium sales fell 7.4 percent in July and inventory bumped up 3.5 months, up from 3 months last year.
Leasing is on the rise: single-family leases were up 2.3 percent, while townhome/condominium leases jumped 10.6 percent. The average rent for a single-family Houston home was $1,879 per month, average rent for townhomes/condominiums $1,630.
“We never like to see a decline in home sales, but it’s helpful to remember that our comparisons each month are to a record year in 2015,” Arriaga said in a statement. “July was the first time in several months when even mid-range housing saw declines.”
Yeah, we know. Saying the same thing in Dallas. To be honest, I spoke to a Realtor today who is finding a home for a Houston family in the Dallas area, Ty Vaughn with Robert Elliot & Associates. He told me they sold their $1,000,000 Houston home in two weeks. Not bad at all. Like most reporting, it probably depends on neighborhood, location, schools, etc.
But look at the sales activity down there, fascinating:
Price range Change
Less than $80,000 -43.3%
$500,000 and above -21.7%
Share of sales
Less than $80,000 2.9%
$500,000 and up 9.8%