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Undaunted by rising mortgage interest rates and a record low supply of homes across Greater Houston, consumers kept the local real estate market in positive territory in March. While new listings are entering the market each week, buyer demand has consistently outpaced that supply, and multiple offers on homes continues to push pricing into record territory, solidly positioning Houston as a sellers’ market.
According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR) March 2022 Market Update, single-family home sales increased 4.1 percent with 9,693 units sold compared to 9,309 in March of 2021. On a year-to-date basis, the market is running 10.8 percent ahead of last year’s record pace. The rental market is also strong as consumers that find themselves unable to purchase a home for the time being are instead opting to lease.
A continued shortage of available homes below $250,000 has left consumers no choice but to shop for higher-priced homes or to lease. It remains to be seen if mortgage rates, which topped 5 percent last week for the first time in years, will slow the pace of homebuying in April.
After reaching record prices in February, buyers pushed pricing to even higher levels in March. The average price of a single-family home rose 11.4 percent to $410,923 while the median price jumped 15.5 percent to $335,000.
This marks the first time that pricing for a single-family home in Houston has surpassed $400,000. “We are experiencing unprecedented market conditions in Houston with a frenetic pace of homebuying despite limited inventory, rising prices and steadily climbing interest rates,” said HAR Chair Jennifer Wauhob with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene.
Lease Property Update Houston’s lease market enjoyed a positive March overall, still benefitting from consumers that have postponed homebuying plans until the market hopefully yields a broader and more affordable supply of housing.
Single-family rental homes rose 18.3 percent year-over-year.
Leases of townhomes and condominiums were unchanged.
The average single-family rent rose 6.7 percent to $2,075 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 7.6 percent to $1,852.
March Monthly Market Comparison
Months of inventory was flat at a 1.3-months supply, which is just slightly above the lowest level of all time.
Over the past year, its highest level reached was a 1.8-months supply in August 2021. Housing inventory nationally stands at a 1.7-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
A 6.0-months supply is traditionally considered to represent a “balanced market,” in which neither the buyer nor the seller has an advantage.
Single-Family Homes Update
Single-family home sales increased 4.1 percent in March with 9,693 units sold throughout the greater Houston area compared to 9,309 a year earlier.
Strong sales volume among higher-end homes pushed pricing up to historic highs.
The median price climbed 15.5 percent to $335,000 while the average price rose 11.4 percent to $410,923. These prices are not only new record highs, but the average price represents the first time that single-family pricing has exceeded $400,000.
Days on Market, or the actual time it took to sell a home, fell from 46 to 38 days. Inventory registered a 1.3-months' supply compared to 1.3 months a year earlier. That is only slightly above Houston’s lowest inventory level of all time – 1.2 months, which was recorded in February 2022. The current national inventory stands at 1.7 months, as reported by NAR.
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