From the HAR: Sluggish December sales and limited housing supply can’t slow down overall real estate activity for the year
The Houston real estate market set new records in 2018 despite uncertainty across the region when the year began, with many survivors of Hurricane Harvey still rebuilding their homes and lives. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed 2017’s record volume by nearly four percent. However, as 2019 gets underway, housing inventory remains constrained – still sitting below its more balanced pre-Harvey levels.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR) 2018 annual report, single family home sales rose 3.8 percent to 82,177 while sales of all property types totaled 98,323, a 3.7-percent increase over 2017’s record volume. Total dollar volume for full-year 2018 jumped 21.5 percent to a record-breaking $28 billion.
“We entered 2018 cautiously optimistic that the Houston real estate market would continue the resilience it showed after Hurricane Harvey, but no one that I know anticipated it being a record year,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “Now, as we look ahead to the new year, federal workers are on edge about the ongoing government shutdown and how that might hurt their cash flow, which could affect housing. And our market is still challenged in terms of housing inventory, which is something that truly needs to improve in 2019 to ensure that real estate remains a vibrant player in the overall Houston economy.”
December single-family home sales fell 4.1 percent to 6,543 versus December 2017. Only two housing segments saw positive sales activity, with the strongest taking place in the luxury market – that is, homes priced from $750,000 and up. Total property sales for the month declined 4.6 percent to 7,709.
Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 13.3 percent from December 2017 to 37,554.
Single-family homes inventory grew slightly from a 3.2-months supply to 3.5 months.