According to the latest figures compiled by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Montgomery County has officially climbed out of the pit from the national collapse of the housing market, with June sales this year exceeding sales during the peak of the market in 2006.
A total of 937 homes, townhomes and condos were sold in June of this year – the next-highest recorded sales for a June in Montgomery County was 929. Houston very nearly reached the June 2006 market peak, with 7,924 homes sold this June compared with 8,628 home sold in June 2006.
Median prices likewise have clearly eclipsed the last market peak. The June 2013 median price was $238,200, compared with the June 2008 median price of $196,300.
It is a trend that reflects full recovery of the housing market – and by all indications the market continues on an upward trajectory.
Houston-area home sales continued to surge in June, especially in the area’s hottest housing markets like The Woodlands and Montgomery County, according to the latest reports from the Houston Association of Realtors.
The continued strong pace of sales has been accompanied by an increase in median prices for homes and a decrease in the Days on Market.
Sales jumped by 22.5 percent in June in Montgomery County – a percentage increase nearly twice that of Houston, where sales increased 13.4 percent. It is a testament to the value of the Montgomery County market relative to the Houston region. A total of 894 homes were sold in June in Montgomery County, as opposed to 730 last June. Year-to-date sales in June jumped 24.6 percent, from 3,184 sold as of this point last year compared with 3,966 this year.
The strength in home sales continues despite rising mortgage interest rates and a slight cooling in employment growth, according to the Houston Association of Realtors. The Texas Workforce Commission reported that the greater Houston area added 91,600 jobs in the 12 months ending May 2013, which is down from 106,000 jobs and a 4.0 percent annualized rate for the 12 months endin g April 2013.
Virtually all areas of the county are benefiting from a steadily strengthening housing market, although in Conroe and northeast Montgomery County sales for June were flat compared with last June – an anomaly compared with year-to-date sales, where all regions of the county have improved.
“The Houston housing market plowed full-steam ahead through another month and most REALTORS® I know have never been busier,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “The fact that inventory has leveled off month-over-month suggests that we may finally be starting to see enough homes listed for sale to keep up with demand.”
The county and the Houston region continued to blow out previous home sales records as the area’s strong economy, job and population growth fuel continued demand for housing.
Jim Fredricks is a licensed Realtor® with The Chevaux Group PLLC – ReMax The Woodlands & Spring:
26113 Oakridge Drive, Suite D
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Phone: (936) 520-6098
May 2013 marked the second-best month for home sales in Montgomery County ever, with 911 homes sold; that is second only to June 2006, when 929 homes were sold during the market peak. It was the highest number of homes sold in May in Montgomery County ever, compared even with the market peak in 2006.
The monthly sales represented a 23 percent increase over May of last year; that compares well with Houston, which saw a 28 percent growth in sales in May, year over year.
Montgomery County has seen nearly two years – 20 consecutive months – of positive sales each month over previous years. Houston has experienced 24 straight months of positive growth.
It all adds up to a dynamic housing market that gives no signs of slowing, despite modest increase in interest rates recently, according to Houston Association of Realtors Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties.
“The Houston real estate market has held to positive territory for two years running and you’d be hard-pressed to find a market anywhere in the U.S. as vibrant as ours,” Frank said. “We continue to see multiple offers on homes, in many cases before the ink has even dried on the listing agreements. There are also many cash offers. We need to carefully watch pricing, however. A disproportionate appreciation in home prices could suggest a bubble, and Houston is very fortunate to have avoided that so far.”
Houston’s and Montgomery County’s relentless surge in home sales continues to be fueled by further job creation, according to HAR, with the Texas Workforce Commission reporting the addition of more than 111,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Continued low interest rates have also made conditions more appealing for home buying, although rates have begun creeping up in recent weeks.
The patterns of growth in sales, decreasing inventory, and median prices have been favoring The Woodlands, Conroe and southwest Montgomery County, but southeast Montgomery County and the Lake Conroe area saw the strongest increase in closed sales in May, and also year-to-date now. The two regions also lead in May with increases in median price; although year-to-date The Woodlands and southwest Montgomery County, followed by Conroe northeast, continue to see the strongest price appreciation, with gains in median prices of 9.1 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.
All of this growth in sales of course eventually will have an impact on the availability of housing and the pace of sales.
The average Days on Market (DOM) fell in each of the four regions of Montgomery County, with the stro
ngest declines being in what have been the two strongest markets, The Woodlands/southwest and Conroe/northeast. In The Woodlands/southwest, the average DOM now stands at 56 days.
The only negative to be found in all of the data is the number of closed sales in southeast Montgomery County – there has been a decrease for that region both for May compared to last year, and for year to date.
Still, with all the pressure on growth – and the coming development of the latest segment of the Grand Parkway, passing along the south part of the county from near the Exxon/Mobil complex to U.S. 59 – it’s hard to believe that southeast Montgomery County won’t see a surge in sales eventually as well.
It is an all-too-common situation in this hot market in The Woodlands.
My buyers were seeking a townhome; a year ago, that wouldn’t have been too much of a problem.
But the newly surging home market – and the diminishing inventory – had now created competition among buyers for Woodlands properties. My buyers lost out in one multiple offer situation on a home that would have been perfect – losing to a cash buyer after multiple offers had been received within days of the townhome coming onto market.
So we had to get creative. For us, the key was for me to start querying townhome owners about their willingness to put their homes on the market. Through a contact in our office we finally identified one owner who was willing to sell – a pocket listing, in other words.
But what if that strategy hadn’t worked? We would have had to continue to compete in this market if my buyers were to find a home.
To be competitive in a hot market, you need to know the market, No. 1 – and a Realtor is key to that end. For a full list of 5 tips than lead to a successful offer in a competitive market, Here is a report on the top 5 tips.
If you’ve been thinking it’s time to put your home on the market – you’re exactly right — and the numbers show it.
Meanwhile, Montgomery County continues to outpace the Houston region as a whole in terms of closed sales and median price increases. Buyer demand for homes, and a dwindling supply, continues to improve the options for homeowners thinking about listing their homes for sale.
Montgomery County home sales for April jumped 32.3 percent compared with last April, climbing from 535 to 708 homes sold. That compares favorably to the Houston region overall, which saw a 27.2 percent increase in homes sold for April, according to HAR. Homes selling between $80,000 and $250,000 registered the greatest increase in sales volume, according to HAR, and that tracks closely with Montgomery County, where the sweet spot for home sales hovers around $250,000 to $300,000.
The year-to-date numbers for Montgomery County are strong as well, rising 28.1 percent from 1,715 to 2,197 homes sold year to date in April.
With the inventory of available homes continuing to tighten, the result has been quicker sales and higher prices as demand for homes continues to grow, driven by population and job growth and low mortgage rates.
Meanwhile, within Montgomery County, The Woodlands and southwest Montgomery County continue to lead in terms of overall sales, median prices and the Days on Market (the average number of days a home will be on market before it is sold). But other regions showed a surge in the pace of sales in April. The Conroe/Northeast county area saw sales jump 60 percent in April, for example, while Lake Conroe area sales rose 39 percent compared with last April.
Meanwhile, in terms of median prices, all areas showed an increase of 10 percent or better compared with last April, with the exception of southeast Montgomery County, which saw its median prices fall. Here is a full chart of the Montgomery County April 2013 MLS Statistics.
The booming Houston region economy – we were the last in, and the first out, of the national recession – will continue to drive demand for housing, and until homebuilders can put up enough new homes to respond to that demand the value of existing homes will continue to soar in many areas of the county.
|Home sales – up, up and away|
|The long-term trends continue; home sales and prices are continuing their upward march to the next peak. What has been happening for a year in Montgomery County has now taken hold around the country – home prices are on the rise.
A survey shows U.S. home prices rose 10.5 percent in March compared with a year ago, the biggest gain since March 2006.
Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said Tuesday that annual home prices have now increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale.
Prices increased in 46 states over the past year – 11 of them posting double-digit gains. And when excluding distressed sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, prices rose in every state. A short sale is when a home sells for less than what is owed on the mortgage. In Texas, the Houston MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) posted a 7.9 percent annual gain (excluding distressed properties, the gain was 9.7 percent). For the PDF report: corelogic-hpi-march-2013
Nevada led all states with a 22.2 percent annual gain. It was followed by California (17.2 percent), Arizona (16.8 percent), Idaho (14.5 percent) and Oregon (14.3 percent).
Home prices also rose 1.9 percent in March from February, signaling a solid start to the spring buying season. And 88 of the 100 largest cities reported price gains compared with a year earlier, down slightly from 92 in February.
Consider the following statistics from the data of the Texas Real Estate Center for March. The data looks at home sales, including townhomes and condos, for Montgomery County:
The interesting number to watch is the low inventory; it has been low for months, and I’ve been expecting to see builders respond to increasing demand for housing.
It has begun to happen. According to the graphic below, March building permits nearly doubled over the previous year. Eventually, that will help ease some upward pressure on prices — and more importantly, it will put more and more people to work and help the local economy.
Houston region home sales have been beating prior year sales now for 16 months according to the latest September sales data, and Montgomery County is no exception to that continued strength in the housing market.
In virtually every category of data – the average days a home stays on market, median prices, total homes sold — the picture for single family homes continues to strengthen in Montgomery County.
Of course, what is fueling this continued growth in the housing market is a relatively robust economy in the Houston region and record-low interest rates.
So how about you? This market presents good opportunities to buy or sell; please contact me for a free market analysis of your home, or to inquire about finding the right home.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors, even though overall monthly sales volume dropped slightly compared to August, there was enough sales activity to lower available housing inventory to levels not seen since March 2002.
According to the data:
- single-family home sales rose 8.7 percent compared to September 2011;
- Contracts closed on 5,014 homes in September;
- Inventory dropped to 4.7 months
- The single-family home average price increased 4.7 percent year-over-year to $220,992, the highest level for a September in Houston;
- The median price—the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less—climbed 6.1 percent to $165,000, also a record high for a September in Houston.
“Demand for homes throughout Houston continues to outpace supply as we transition into the fall season,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty, in a HAR press release. “For those considering selling a home, current market conditions present excellent opportunities, and with interest rates falling to new record lows, this also remains an outstanding time to buy.”
“For those considering selling a home, current market conditions present excellent opportunities, and with interest rates falling to new record lows, this also remains an outstanding time to buy.”
In many ways, Montgomery County’s housing picture is stronger than the Houston area overall. The county continued to see strong home sales for this year in September’s data, year over year, with 591 closed sales compared with 503 in September 2011 — an increase of 17.5 percent. For closed sales, it was the best September since 2006, the year home sales peaked in Montgomery County.
Total inventory stood at 5.2 months in September, again, the lowest amount of inventory on the market since late 2006, early 2007, when the inventory stood at 5.1 in several months of the year and dipped to 4.7 months once.
- Year-to-date closed sales rose were positive as well, rising 14.3 percent, from 4,496 by this point last year in September to 5,138 this year
- The time homes spend on average on market (Days on Market) fell from 89 to 80 days on average for a single family home – a fall of 10.4 percent
Burrowing deeper into the data, it’s clear that The Woodlands dominates the market compared with the county’s other geographical areas.
Days on Market
Properties are moving faster in The Woodlands and southwest Montgomery County, with an average days on market of just 68 days, compared with the average countywide of 80 days.
The Lake Conroe and northwest Montgomery County region had the highest Days on Market, averaging 104 for September.
Lake Conroe made the biggest gains in median price in September year to date, jumping 13.4 percent from $175,000 to $198,390; and as for comparing just September 2012 to September 2011, the median price in northwest Montgomery County and Lake Conroe jumped 40.8 percent, from $156,000 to $220,000.
However, The Woodlands and South Montgomery County continues to lead in median price overall, both year-to-date and for September monthly figures; The Woodlands and southwest Montgomery County year-to-date media price stands at $228,000.
The Woodlands also is leader in closed sales, jumping 30.9 percent in September from 275 last year to 360 this September. Lake Conroe and northwest Montgomery County saw the next-largest gains, growing 16.3 percent from 98 last September to 114 this September.
As for year-to-date figures, while The Woodlands had three times or more closings than anywhere else in the county, it was Conroe and Northeast Montgomery County that showed the strongest growth in closed sales, climbing nearly 23 percent from 548 last year to 673 this year.
Thinking of buying or selling a home? Jim Fredricks can provide you a market analysis for your home to see whether it makes sense to sell. He is a licensed real estate agent with Chevaux Group in The Woodlands. You may contact him at email@example.com