Houston-area home sales fall for 12th consecutive month

Sep 24, 2008

Property sales across the Houston area suffered the biggest year-over-year decline ever in August as the market experienced its 12th consecutive monthly drop in sales. Sales of single-family homes in the area were down 20.1 percent in August compared with the same month last year, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of Realtors. Sales of all property types in August 2008 totaled 6,641, a 20.8 percent drop compared to August 2007. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month was $1.4 billion vs. $1.7 billion one year earlier, a 16.9 percent decline. ?The disappointing sales numbers for August indicate that consumers are taking a conservative approach to the real estate market and may continue to do so until after the presidential election,? said Michael Levitin, HAR chairman and principal of HTownRealty.com. He added that the federal government?s bailout plan for the financial markets should help boost consumer confidence, but the devastating effects of Hurricane Ike have left many throughout the area struggling to rebuild their homes and lives, which may mean a further sales slowdown. At $223,933, the average sales price for single-family homes reached the third-highest level on record last month and the highest figure for the month of August, increasing 4.3 percent from the same period last year when it was $214,637. The overall median price of single-family homes in August was $160,000 compared to the national single-family median price of $210,900 reported by the National Association of Realtors. Month-end pending sales ? those listings expected to close within the next 30 days ? totaled 4,299, 16.6 percent lower than last year, and strongly suggests the likelihood of another sales decline next month.
Read More: Houston Business Journal

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