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
The fundamentals keep looking good for the Houston area and Montgomery County, which augurs well for home sales as well, now and in the coming year.
No matter where you look – consumer spending as measured by sales tax revenue; home sales; unemployment data; or building permits issued – economic activity is on the rise. Over time, this should all help contribute to a healthy real estate market in our area and specifically Montgomery County.
I addressed the rise in sales tax activity recently in this blog post.
Today, I want to hit on positive job growth and other measures.
On job growth, the Texas Workforce Commission recently released its jobs report. According to the commission, Houston area employers created 79,500 jobs over the past year, including robust gains in the oil and gas industry, manufacturing and health care. The Houston Chronicle has a report here.
From the commission report, overall in Texas, the private sector continued to grow in October, adding 13,500 jobs. Texas’ total nonfarm employment has expanded by 231,600 jobs over the year to reach an estimated 10,616,500 positions in October. Overall, Texas added 2,500 jobs over the month. Texas has experienced positive annual job growth in the past 18 months with annual growth rates above 2.0 percent for the last five consecutive months.
Unemployment overall also is headed the right direction; Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in October, down slightly from 8.5 percent in September, and remains below the national unemployment rate of 9.0 percent.
In Montgomery County, the picture is even better, as this graph indicates:
Meanwhile, home sales and construction activity is on the rise, with the Houston real estate market logging a fifth straight month of positive home sales in October, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
According to the latest monthly data prepared by HAR, October sales of single-family homes rose 9.1 percent versus one year earlier. And the growth is broad-based. Again, according to HAR, all segments of the housing market, from the sub-$80,000 to the $500,000 and above, experienced growth. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 3.4 percent.
“The further we distance ourselves from last year’s tax credit as we analyze the local housing data, the clearer an indication we get of market performance, and the latest numbers show a healthy sales climate for an autumn in Houston,” said Carlos P. Bujosa, HAR chairman and VP at Transwestern, in an HAR press release.
“As long as the Houston economy continues to strengthen with additional job growth, we can be cautiously optimistic about the state of the housing market going into the new year.”
In terms of overall sales, the same news, generally speaking, applies to Montgomery County home sales year-to-date, as the chart below indicates:
And builders seem to be betting on continued growth in home sales, with steady growth in permits issued in Montgomery County for the last few months, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
In short, we are seeing numerous signs of a healthy, recovering economy. Overall, and over time, that should support healthy home sales.