For Houston real estate professionals at the start of the new year, business remains steady. Many agents are still receiving multiple contracts on one listing, and certain homes sell as soon as they hit the market.

At the same time, inventory has increased, helping to alleviate the high demand-low supply market of 2014. Certain price ranges and neighborhoods remain in high demand, while others have cooled off. For instance, areas located near energy corridors have slowed slightly, except where homes are priced from $150,000 to $300,000.

The buyer demand “line of demarcation” in Houston home sales for November tells an interesting story. Homes priced at $400,000 and below still enjoy a “months of inventory” (MOI) ranking as a sellers’ market — from 4.6 MOI to 1 MOI. Homes priced $400,000 to $500,000 are categorized as a normal market at 6.1 MOI. Meanwhile, homes priced $500,000 and above are experiencing a strong buyers’ market starting at 7 MOI and moving up the scale to 10 MOI for a home priced over $1 million. Depending on your goal and price range, the market can mean drastically different things.

As for sales numbers, Houston residential real estate took a tumble in November, recording 4,595 single-family home sales and 11% fewer sales than last year. The slight drop brought year-to-date sales to 67,771 — 2% fewer home sales than in 2014.

The average price of a single-family home declined 3% from November 2014 to November 2015 and currently stands at $262,064. Larger gains were reported for the year-to-date average price, which increased 4% to $280,253. Median sales price for November experienced a modest 2% increase to $200,000 whereas the year-to-date median sales price reported a 7% gain and is currently $211,500. All sales figures cited are from the Houston Association of Realtors.

With this in mind, it’s obvious that Houston will not surpass the sales recorded in 2014, the greatest real estate year in Houston’s history. However, it will certainly be the second best. Heading into 2016, we’ll be looking towards the energy industry and the national economy as indicators for future performance. In all, Houston’s economic diversity and health will continue to protect and preserve home values over the long haul, and it will continue to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Source: Toni Nelson

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