Magnolia Texas mansion

37307 Diamond Oaks Drive Magnolia, TX 77355 $ 18,750,000 Price change 23.47%

Is the economic slump from low oil prices finally catching up with the Houston real estate market?

The Houston Association of Realtors said that buyers closed on 7,204 single family homes in July, median prices were at $230,000, and volume slumped to the lowest since January.

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.

River Oaks Mansion Houston

3465 Overbrook Ln Houston, TX 77027 $ 7,775,000 Price change 2.20%

But look at the sales activity down there, fascinating:  (more…)

Z-ComingSoonsCall it another by-product of our hot, inventory-deprived real estate market that was created out of the wreckage of the worst recession since the Great Depression.Last week while the nation’s top real estate editors were gathered in Houston, Zillow launched a new on line real estate search to help consumers find pre-market listings.

Call them Hip Pockets, call them Whisper Listings, whatever you call them, they are properties that are NOT yet in MLS, but are available for sale. An agent may or may not be involved. (more…)