I’m tracking sales for many local markets. Note that sales slumped at the beginning of the pandemic, so the year-over-year increase in sales is crazy.
Houston area home sales set new records in May as consumers took advantage of historically low interest rates in snapping up an ever-dwindling supply of properties for sale. What resulted was a nearly 50 percent jump in sales volume compared to the same month last year, when real estate was still in the process of recovering from coronavirus-related lockdown orders. Limited supply, strong buyer demand and increased construction costs all contributed to record high home prices.
According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, single-family homes sales surged 48.2 percent compared to last May, with 9,702 units sold versus 6,546 a year earlier. That marks the greatest one-month year-over-year sales volume increase of all time and is the market’s twelfth consecutive positive month of sales. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are leading 2020’s record pace by 29.5 percent.
Homes priced from $750,000 and above led the way in May sales volume, shattering all previous measurements with a whopping 291.0 percent year-over-year increase. That was followed by the $500,000 to $750,000 segment, which rocketed 166.0 percent. This unprecedented surge in high-dollar homebuying is responsible for pushing pricing to record-setting levels. The single-family home average price rose 29.7 percent to $387,105 and the median price increased 21.7 percent to $304,000.
Sales of all property types totaled 12,100 – the second highest volume of all time. That is up 55.5 percent from May 2020. Total dollar volume for the month soared 100.5 percent to $4.4 billion.
“We are witnessing the most energized Houston real estate market in history,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “Sellers maintain the upper hand, and buyers are not just meeting their demands. They are exceeding them, as we hear endless accounts of offers coming in that are thousands of dollars above list price. It’s difficult to predict how and when this incredible housing run will end.”
Single family inventory declined 40.6% year-over-year from 38,048 in May 2020 to 22,607 in May 2021. This is just 1.4 months of supply.
Note that inventory was down slightly in May compared to the previous month (April 2021) – and has essentially been flat for the last three months.