Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Houston Real Estate in January: Sales declined 8% YoY, Inventory Up 17%

by Bill McBride on 2/13/2019 02:24:00 PM

Houston set a record for sales in 2018. However, the year ended soft, and with lower oil prices - in addition to higher mortgage rates - 2019 is off to a slow start.

From the HAR: Houston's Housing Market Cools in January

Fresh on the heels of a record-breaking 2018, home sales across greater Houston began the new year at a dramatically slower pace. Sales volume fell in all pricing segments in January, including the luxury home market, which saw its first decline in 12 months. However, rental activity was strong, and inventory levels continued expanding, providing consumers with more choices in the lead-up to the traditionally busy spring buying season.

According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), 4,100 single-family homes sold in January compared to 4,462 a year earlier. That represents an 8.1 percent decline – the third straight month of falling sales.
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“January appears to have delivered a perfect economic storm of sorts, with some consumers focused on paying off holiday credit card bills, others concerned about the recent bump in mortgage rates and still others that may have felt the squeeze from the partial government shutdown,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “We are encouraged by the strong performance among rental properties, and I believe that as inventory levels continue to grow, more buyers will return to the market.”
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Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, climbed 16.8 percent to 38,872.

Inventory registered a 3.7-months supply. That is up from 3.2 months a year earlier ...
emphasis added