Although slow relative to the previous three years, the real estate market in 2016 ended in a positive direction for home sellers. As reported by the Houston Association of Realtors, “to the delight of home buyers, inventory levels grew during the first half of 2016, peaking at a 4.0-months supply in July. However, with the increased pace of home sales, inventory levels retreated, ending the year exactly where they began – at a 3.3-months supply.” From a home seller’s perspective, less inventory usually leads to higher prices and that’s exactly what happened in 2016.
Prices in the Houston real estate market climbed during that year-long period ending in December 2016. The median price of a single-family home in the Houston area increased 2.7 percent between December 2015 and December 2016, to $225,903. Average home prices in general rose 1.49 percent during that period to $310,407. The dollar volume of sales during the year increased 4.2 percent. In total, $24,546,840,733 worth of homes were sold in December 2016.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, the 33,802 active listings in December 2016 represented a 7.1 percent increase over December 2015. Pending listings increased December 2016 to 6,628, a 5.3 percent increase over December 2015. Actual sales of properties rose 5.9% to 7,868 over the same period in Houston.
Homes spent an average of 62 days on the market in December 2016, which is an ever so slight increased from the average 60 days on market from the same period in 2015.
All in all, these numbers bode well for 2017. With inventory levels in Houston holding relatively steady in 2016, home sellers do not have to worry about high inventory levels driving down home prices, which should bring more listing options on the market for home buyers. Stable oil prices could help to alleviate concerns regarding the overall state of the Houston economy. In fact, Oil and gas industry has just added jobs for first time in more than 2 years. Luxury home sellers and buyers should be the biggest beneficiaries if trends continue. As the overall oil and gas industry continues to improve, homeowners may begin again to upgrade into larger, higher priced homes, which will help boost home prices and options for home buyers.