We’ve beat the last market peak! June sales jump 23 percent; in Houston, 13 percent

We’re back.

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.

County monthly  median price since 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.

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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.

Closed sales June 2012-2013 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  Days on Market YTD June 2013 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
Email: jfredricks@thefredricksgroup.com

http://www.har.com/JimFredricks

http://activerain.com/blogs/jfredricks

http://www.chevauxgroup.com

Home sales for March in Montgomery County – up, up and away!

Home sales – up, up and away
County Monthly Home Sales for March 2013The 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:

County Monthly Home Inventory March 2013

  • Home Sales — Up 30 percent compared to previous March, rising from 528 to 684
  • Median Price —                 Up 5 percent compared with previous March, rising from $192,600 to $202,000.
  • Inventory — Falling 35 percent, plummeting from 6.2 months of available inventory to just 4 months currently.

Email me to request a comparative market analysis of your home

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.

Monthly home inventory March 2013

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

We’ve entered a seller’s market here in Montgomery County; plus – see my newest listing below

Montgomery County is now a seller’s market, joining the Houston region in setting remarkable trends for home sales.
For a time, a slowdown in sales created in part by the national recession and new, stricter underwriting guidelines for homes had depressed sales well below their peak in the last decade, leading to a large inventory of homes on the market and producing a buyer’s market. But Houston’s robust economy, record-low interest rates and job growth have helped fuel strong demand for homes.

That demand has helped turn the real estate market around this year. The traditional definition of a buyer’s market is where the market area has more than 5 months of inventory; when home purchases drive the inventory to less than 5 months of available supply, a seller’s market is created. Montgomery County, at least in most areas, according to real estate experts, is now a seller’s market.

And we’re part of a regional trend. Consider these amazing statistics on the Houston region from the Houston Association of Realtors:

  1. Houston home sales surged in May, accounting for the 12th consecutive month of positive sales.
  2. Average and median prices broke records; volume of sales reached the highest level since June 2008.
  3. Local housing inventory is now at its lowest level in more than five years.
  4. May sales of single-family homes soared 23.8 percent compared with the previous year – the biggest monthly increase since August.
  5. The May single-family home average price rose 8.5 percent year-over-year to $237,083, the highest level ever in Houston.

Montgomery County is part of that exciting trend. Sales in Montgomery County for May totaled 753 compared to 544 last May, representing a stunning increase of 38.4 percent. And for the year to date in May, sales stood at 2,468 compared with 2,140 last May, for an increase of 15.3 percent.

For a look at how Montgomery County’s four regions compare across a variety of measures, take a look at the following graphics:

Clearly, it’s a good time for selling or buying in Montgomery County.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in Montgomery County, please contact me at jfredricks@thefredricksgroup.com. You can also follow the link below to see my newest listing, a lovely log home on 3.5 acres with a pond, east of Conroe.

Jim Fredricks is a licensed Realtor with the Chevaux Group in The Woodlands.

18422 Possum Trot – Log home on 3.5 acres east of Conroe
MLS# 23125033
Listing Price:$280,000
Bedrooms:# 4
Baths:# 2
Sq.ft:# 2,953
Acres: 3.5
Description:Peaceful, country living at its best on spacious 3.5   acres with pond. Great custom log home, soaring ceilings in living area and   master with wrap-around porch to enjoy the country views. Four bedrooms, game   room and study. 40X40 workshop/garage. Master Bedroom/Study is up with large   jacuzzi tub and huge walk-in shower. 19X6 balcony off master bedroom   overlooks gorgeous acreage. Includes big 8-person hot tub with 20X14 deck.

See more detail here

The Market: positive job numbers, home sales

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.

Job Growth

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:

Home sales

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.