Houston Real Estate in December: Sales declined 4.1% YoY, Inventory Up 13%

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 will probably be a more difficult year in Houston.

From the HAR: Sluggish December
sales and limited housing supply can’t slow down overall real
estate activity for the year

The Houston real estate market set new records in 2018
despite uncertainty across the region when the year began, with
many survivors of Hurricane Harvey still rebuilding their homes and
lives. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed
2017’s record volume by nearly four percent. However, as 2019
gets underway, housing inventory remains constrained – still
sitting below its more balanced pre-Harvey levels.

According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR) 2018
annual report, single family home sales rose 3.8 percent to 82,177
while sales of all property types totaled 98,323, a 3.7-percent
increase over 2017’s record volume. Total dollar volume for
full-year 2018 jumped 21.5 percent to a record-breaking $28
billion.

“We entered 2018 cautiously optimistic that the Houston real
estate market would continue the resilience it showed after
Hurricane Harvey, but no one that I know anticipated it being a
record year,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage
Texas Properties. “Now, as we look ahead to the new year, federal
workers are on edge about the ongoing government shutdown and how
that might hurt their cash flow, which could affect housing. And
our market is still challenged in terms of housing inventory, which
is something that truly needs to improve in 2019 to ensure that
real estate remains a vibrant player in the overall Houston
economy.”

December single-family home sales fell 4.1 percent to 6,543
versus December 2017
. Only two housing segments saw positive
sales activity, with the strongest taking place in the luxury
market – that is, homes priced from $750,000 and up. Total
property sales for the month declined 4.6 percent to 7,709.

Total active listings, or the total number of available
properties, jumped 13.3 percent from December 2017 to
37,554
.

Single-family homes inventory grew slightly from a 3.2-months
supply to 3.5 months.
emphasis added

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 2
Houston Real Estate in December: Sales declined 4.1% YoY, Inventory Up 13%