The data I will be using is coming from MLS data generated by The Real Estate Center at Texas A & M University and Houston Association of Realtors. The current month figures for September 2010 are preliminary. I usually depend on year-to-date figures and like to have at least 6 months of data to examine. The median price for me is the most important price statistic and the one I use the most for developing pricing stategies.
Single Family sales of homes throughout the Houston Metroplex for the 9 month period ending 9/30/2010 are 39,796 homes or 2% lower than last year. The average price is $210,833 indicating an increase of 4 % versus 2009. While the number of homes sold are down the average price in Houston area continue to increase. However, the median price is $154,000 and that equates to a change of zero percentage as compared to last year and equals $89 per square foot. Pending sales are 25,625 homes or 9 % lower than last year which for does not give me good positive feeling for activity during the remainder of the year 2010. Active listings are increased by 15 % or to 32,117 homes. The available homes inventory are increasing while sales are down slightly. This condition I believe has existed for most of the current year and tells me that the supply of qualified buyers are diminishing while the supply of available homes are increasing and these factors sooner or later has to create pressure for prices to fall. Builders through the Houston area are keeping their inventory levels low and right now are offering numerous incentives to move current inventory. Months of available homes inventory is 7.7 months.
Another key statistic I look at when reviewing MLS data is the demand for homes by price point. Once again this is for the 9 month period ending September 30, 2010. The top three price points from a demand/sales standpoint are: 1) $200,000 - $249,999 2) $300,000 - 399,999 and 3) $250,000 to 299,999. Sales in these price points in terms of units are 6% down, the same and 1% down respectively when compared to same period during last year. These price points also tend to fit what I personally found this year of the profile of homes I have sold.
The remaining top price points from a homes sold standpoint are:4) $120,000 to $129,999; 5) 130,000 to 139,999; 6) $110,000 t0 $119,999; 7) $140,000 to $149,999; 8) $150,000 to $159,999; 9) $80,000 to $89,999; and 10) $90,000 to $99,999. The lower priced homes continue to be in the highest demand in the Houston area. There is a 17.2 month supply of homes priced at $1.0 million or greater and 13.5 month supply of homes priced from $900,000 to $999,999.
The main market area I personally cover is MLS area 36 which is mainly the Katy Texas area south of I-10. I also cover MLS area 25 ( Katy north of I-10 plus Cypress Texas), MLS area 37 ( Richmond and MLS area 29 (Sugarland). This market report I will limit my discussion to just MLS area 36.
MLS area 36 or South Katy continues to reflect an increase in both the average price from $262,356 during 2009 to $271,625 for YTD 2010 and median price from $231,350 YTD 2009 to $245,000 YTD 2010. Actual sales of homes are slightly down by 16 homes on a year to year basis. The price per square foot has increased to $91 from $88. The percentage of sold price to list price is 96 % or meaning sellers are discounting from list price about 4 % during 2010 in area 36. Last year sellers were taking a 5 %reduction from list price. There are 972 active listing at September 30, 2010 while there was 826 last year. Listings in this area like the rest of Houston are increasing and the months of inventory on hand not surprisingly has increased to 4.1 months from 3.7 months last year. MLS area 36 is still a good market to sell in but the supply of qualified buyers in the market right now is much lower than at a comparable points in prior years.