After relative balance in the Houston real estate market over the past few months, there was a nice spike in home sales in the month of November.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), the 6,890 property sales in November 2016 represented a 21.4 percent increase over November 2015. Sales among luxury homes (priced at $500,000 and above) saw the biggest jump, increasing 33 percent in November 2016 from the same period last year. Active listings increased 8.6 percent to 36,151 over the same period. Pending listings had an even higher jump, with 5,799 pending listings in November 2016, indicating a 15.5 percent increase over November 2015.
Prices in the Houston real estate market continued to climb during that year-long period. The median price of a single-family home in the Houston area increased 7.64 percent between November 2015 and November 2016, to $209,900. Average home prices rose 0.61 percent during that period to $308,527. The dollar volume of sales during the year increased an astounding 28.7 percent. In total, $1,827,990,565 worth of homes were sold in November 2016.
Homes spend an average of 57 days on the market in Houston, which is 2 days higher than this time last year. Although there is a little additional inventory, home prices continue to edge up, year over year. This allows buyers a little more time to shop for their home, but also, allows sellers to sell in a reasonable amount of time at a fair price.
Could surging home sales (and luxury homes sales in particular) be a sign of things to come in 2017? It is too early to tell. One month does not make a trend. However, rising oil prices could bring some good cheer. The end of the election could bring fewer distractions. And gradually rising interest rates could motivate home buyers to lock in histrionically low interest rates while they are still available. All of those trends could contribute to a better real estate outlook in 2017.