May home sales surge for Houston region, Montgomery County

Closed Sales May 2012-2013The 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.

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.Closed Sales YTD May 2013

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.

Median Price YTD May 2013The 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.

                       

Days on Market YTD May 2013

                                                                                                                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.

Months of Inventory June 2013The amount of remaining inventory continues to drop as well. In The Woodlands/southwest, the remaining months of inventory available has fallen to just 2.5 months.

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.

 

April sales jump 33 percent; county outpaces Houston region overall

Closed sales April 2012-2013

If you’ve been thinking it’s time to put your home on the market – you’re exactly right — and the numbers show it.

Homes sales and median prices continue to soar, according to the latest April sales data from the Houston Association of Realtors.

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.

Median Price April 2012-2013Montgomery 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.

List your home with me and we will make sure you get top value for your home

Days on Market, YTD April 2013With 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.

Email me to request a comparative market analysis of your home

 

The Top 10 fast-selling areas in Montgomery County; location, location, location

 

Top 10 fast sellers April 2013 

One clear sign of the strength of home sales in any particular area, and where the market is likely to heat up even more next, is in the average Days on Market for homes.

Clearly, Montgomery County is now a “seller’s market,” defined as a housing market in which the existing inventory of homes is 5 to 6 months or less (the time it would take, given the existing pace of sales, to absorb all of the existing homes on market).

But Montgomery County is not uniform by any means, and housing sales are driven by any number of factors. The quality of area schools, the quality of construction, the availability and quality of area amenities, and proximity to jobs are all major factors that will drive home sales.

If you are considering listing your home, list it with Remax The Woodlands/Spring, the market leader in The Woodlands/Spring

And one measure of the strength of those sales is the Days on Market. After analyzing the Days on Market for the geographical market areas used by the Houston Association of Realtors MLS, I have determined the “Top 10 Fastest Selling Areas” in Montgomery County for April 2013. Go here for a chart showing the entire list, plus the number of sales in each area.

The graphic shows the Top 10. What makes these communities so popular? A look at the top 5 helps explain:

  1. The Woodlands – The Woodlands is the hottest market for real estate right now in Montgomery County. Homes are listed and sold literally in days in some cases. The reasons are obvious. The Woodlands boasts quality schools, fantastic area amenities including Market Street, great neighborhood parks, golfing and miles of hiking and biking trails and proximity to Interstate 45 and the Exxon Mobil campus currently under construction. At 12 Days on Market on average for April, homes have become a precious commodity in The Woodlands.
  2. Spring Northeast – Spring Northeast is No. 2 in our ranking, and it is driven by quality subdivisions like Imperial Oaks and Bender’s Landing, the community of Oak Ridge north, and proximity to I-45.
  3. Conroe southeast – At No. 3, the southeast area of Conroe – featuring custom home subdivisions like River Plantation and Crighton Ridge, is narrowly behind Spring Northeast in Days on Market. Again, proximity to I-45 is a key driver.
  4. Magnolia FM 1488 east – Home buyers here are drawn by the promise of spacious homes on large lots, a place in the country that still is not too far thriving areas like The Woodlands and thoroughfares like Interstate 45.
  5. Lake Conroe area – Lake Conroe is one of Montgomery County’s claims to fame, and a wide variety of lake area communities afford homeowners the best of both worlds, a lake area lifestyle, with city amenities just down the road.

County, Houston housing market continues to beat prior year on sales, median price

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.

Other highlights:

  • 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.

However, the good news is that all four regions of Montgomery County saw the average Days on Market for single family homes decline

Median Price

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.

Closed Sales

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 jfredricks@thefredricksgroup.com