The national real estate market recovery has been underway for a while now, but for the most part, the upward movement has been at a slow pace. Housing experts are in broad agreement that the upward trend is there — but the turnaround rate has been very slow. For those of us watching the Houston real estate market, it’s been a pretty unexciting rebound. So the recent good national news on existing home sales was especially welcome, because the report indicated that the 5.9% increase was more than three times greater than economists expected. According to the National Association of Realtors in Washington, the index of pending home resales climbed 5.9% to 101.1 This matches the two-year high reached in March.
“This improvement adds to the recent flow of good news on the housing sector, reinforcing our view that this beleaguered sector is finally on the mend” was what Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities in New York, wrote to his firm’s clients. Bloomberg News’ 39-economist survey had called for a 1.5% gain in May. Tripling that — and more — was wholly unexpected, especially in light of recent reports of weakening consumer sentiment.
Historically low mortgage rates, first-time buyer affordability, and a general sentiment in the news media that we have reached the bottom in home sales continue to contribute to the home sales rebound. Additional good news came specifically for developers and new home builders: a Commerce Department report showed in June that new home sales climbed to 7.6%. New dwellings accounted for almost 7% of the market last year, compared to a high of 15% during the market peak.
So what does this national home sales data mean to home sales here in Houston real estate market? According the Houston Association of Realtors June press release, Houston home sales were up 23.8% versus one year earlier. Local housing inventory is at the lowest level in the last five years. Median Houston home prices have risen 8.5% over the past year. Pending home sales are up 10.5% from the previous year, indicating July will be another strong month for home sales.
If you are considering selling your home and want the latest local information on prices and market activity, contact Kevan Pewitt and the Houston Prime Realty team to discuss those trends and how they are affecting our own Houston Real Estate Market. Kevan Pewitt is an experienced Houston real estate agent and Realtor Houston.