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Houston-area realtors sold 6,088 single-family homes in January ’21, up 27.7 percent from the same month last year and a record for the month of January, according to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). For the 12-months ending in January, sales of all property types (single-family, duplexes, townhomes and condos) totaled 117,244 homes, up 12.3 percent from the same period in ’20. The 12-month total also set a record.
Home sales have boomed during the pandemic as historically low mortgage rates propel demand. Furthermore, pandemic job losses have disproportionately impacted low-wage workers who are more likely to be apartment renters. High-wage workers, who are more likely to be home buyers, have been less impacted.
“The Houston real estate market carried the momentum of 2020 into the new year, however we believe that the current pace of sales is unsustainable without an infusion of new listings into the marketplace,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “It’s our hope that as we move out of the winter months, more sellers will begin to put their homes on the market and help boost inventory to pre-pandemic levels.”
The surge in buying has pushed the supply of homes on the market to record lows. Inventory is down to a 1.8-month supply, the lowest level in at least 25 years . Housing markets are considered balanced at 6.0 months’ supply. Nationally, inventory stands at 1.9-months.
Active listings for all property types in January ’21 dropped to 26,271 homes, down 33.8 percent from January ’20 and the fewest listings since December ’14. The scarcity of supply pushed the average price for a single-family home sold in January to $326,063, up 12.5 percent the previous January.
The number of leases signed for single-family homes fell 18.4 percent in January while leases for townhomes and condominiums fell 6.3 percent. The monthly average lease for a single-family home was $1,889 in January, up 6.0 percent from a year ago. The average townhome/condominium lease was $1,607, up 0.9 percent.
By segment, year-over-year January single-family sales performed as follows:
• $1 - $99,999: decreased 32.4 percent
• $100,000 - $149,999: decreased 23.2 percent
• $150,000 - $249,999: increased 11.3 percent
• $250,000 - $499,999: increased 61.9 percent
• $500,000 - $749,999: increased 70.4 percent
• $750,000 and above: increased 73.9 percent
Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, decreased from 69 days in January ’20 to 48 days in January ’21.
Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research
Director, Data Analytics
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Houston area realtors sold 6,088 homes in January '21.
The average price for a single-family home in Houston in January '21.
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