Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Houston Real Estate in March: Sales up 6.9% YoY, Inventory Up 2.6% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 4/08/2020 12:58:00 PM

This is mostly prior to the collapse in oil prices and the impact of COVID-19. Closed sales in March are for contracts that were mostly signed in January and February.

From the HAR: Strong sales momentum through mid-March helps offset COVID-19’s market impact later in the month

As COVID-19 ravages the physical and business health of the nation, its impact on the Houston real estate market only began to set in during the last week of March, and therefore caused little disruption to the month’s overall performance. The full effect of the pandemic is expected to become more apparent when the April housing numbers are tallied. ...

According to the latest monthly Market Update from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), 7,566 single-family homes sold in March compared to 6,995 a year earlier, accounting for an 8.2 percent increase and the ninth consecutive month of positive sales. ... Sales of all property types totaled 8,965, up 6.9 percent from March 2019.

“What’s about to happen to Houston real estate reminds me of Hurricane Harvey in that we are bracing for impact, but don’t yet know what the full extent on the market will be,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center. “There are consumers out there for whom finding a home is critical, however, HAR has urged all Realtor members to conduct as much business as possible online, using technology such as virtual open houses, virtual tours and electronic signature documents, in the interest of protecting everyone’s health. What’s most important during this pandemic is for everyone to be responsible community stewards and heed the warnings of health experts and local officials,” added Nugent.
Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, rose 2.6 percent to 40,932.. … Single-family homes inventory recorded a 3.5-months supply in March, down from a 3.8-months supply a year earlier.
emphasis added
Sales in Houston set a record in 2019 and were off to a strong start in 2020. The impact of COVID-19, and the sharp decline in oil prices, will hit sales in Houston in the coming months.