HAR: Houston housing market breaks records in 2020 despite pandemic

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HOUSTON – A global pandemic didn’t slow the demand for homes in Houston in 2020.

Last year, Houston buyers closed on a record 96,151 single-family homes, a 10.5% year-over-year increase and the largest one-year sales volume of all time, the Houston Association of Realtors reported. The previous sales record was set in 2019, when 86,996 single-family homes were sold.

Property sales of all types totaled a record-breaking 115,523, an 11.6% year-over-year increase and only the second time that figure has crossed the 100,000 mark. All-in-all, the year’s total dollar volume jumped 18.1% to more than $35.3 billion, yet another record according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

Both the average and the median sales price for a single-family home increased about 6 percent year over year -- The average was $324,069, and the median was $260,000.

After stay-at-home orders at the beginning of the pandemic interrupted local real estate activity in the Spring, April and May emerged as the only negative sales months as the market rebounded over the summer and gained momentum each month for the rest of the year, Houston Association of Realtors reported. Houston’s greatest one-month sales volume of all time was recorded in July, when 10,815 single-family homes were sold.

The housing market ended on a high note in 2020. Single-family home sales in December totaled 9,653, a 25.5 percent year-over-year increase, and total property sales reached 11,572, a 27.2% year-over-year increase. The sales price for a single-family home reached new December highs. The median price –the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less–rose 8.7 percent to $273,443 while the average price rose 11.4 percent to $347,164, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.

Meanwhile, market supply did not keep pace with demand. Single-family inventory in December 2020 narrowed to a record-low 1.9-month supply, down from a 3.2 month supply in December 2019. Inventory estimates the number of months it would take to sell all active home listings based on the prior 12 months sales activity. Comparatively, the nation’s overall housing inventory currently stands at a 2.3-months supply, according to the latest National Association of Realtors report.

“When the coronavirus pandemic struck, we expected real estate business to hit a brick wall and never fathomed the possibility of 2020 becoming a record year for the Houston market,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “HAR worked closely with elected officials to secure the ‘essential service designation for real estate, which cleared the way for our hard-working Realtor members to help consumers find the homes they needed. HAR’s virtual open house and virtual showing technology proved invaluable in enabling consumers to safely tour the properties that interested them. As we enter 2021, we find ourselves in critical need of inventory if we are to sustain a healthy pace of home sales.”


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