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.
In the Houston region June marked the 13th straight month of positive home sales, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), single-family home sales rose 14.4 percent compared to June 2011. The month also saw local housing inventory hold to its lowest level in more than five years.
And Montgomery County specifically saw strong numbers for June – eclipsing the numbers for the Houston region overall. Here are some of the highlights for Montgomery County:
- Closed single-family home sales rose 17.3 percent for June 2012, growing from 635 sales in June last year to 745;
- Year-to-date numbers are strong as well; year-to-date sales in June rose 15.1 percent over last year, going from 2,775 in June 2011 to 3,195 this June;
- The Woodlands and southwest Montgomery County remain, the most robust region for home sales, but each of the county’s four region posted strong gains in sales, as is indicated in the graphic below;
- Total Days on Market actually declined in southwest Montgomery County by 8.3 percent, dropping from 84 days to 77 days;
- Median prices for all but one region posted strong gains, from 7.5 percent year over year in southwest Montgomery County and The Woodlands, to as much as 25.7 percent in southeast Montgomery County. See the graphic below.
These numbers paint a picture of a strong real estate market, which is good news for homebuyers and sellers. It’s a seller’s market for most of Montgomery County, but an improving real estate market can make a home purchase a good investment for buyers as well.
The strength of the real estate market in the Houston region is being, and will continue to be, driven by gains in jobs and an improving economy.
“We see the strength of the Houston housing market as a direct reflection of improving consumer confidence in the local economy as a whole,” Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty, said in a recent Houston Association of Realtors release.
“One of the principal factors in the demand for homes throughout greater Houston has been steady job gains that the Texas Workforce Commission reports have amounted to more than 90,000 hires over the past year. In its July economic outlook, the Greater Houston Partnership said ‘Houston is the strongest of all the major metro economies in the U.S., and if job growth continues at the current pace, this may be one of the best years on record for the region.'”
I attended a meeting earlier this year where the keynote speaker was Mike Inselmann, co-founder and President of Metrostudy, which studies the housing market.
At the close of his remarks and after reviewing all the job growth data for the Houston region, Inselmann made a similar point, and pointed to a great future for housing in the Houston region: “The next four to five years are going to be pretty good years for Houston.”
This could be a perfect time for you to consider buying or selling a home in Montgomery County. I’d be happy to help.
If you’re interested in buying or selling a home in Montgomery County, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: 3.5Description: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.|
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.