Houston Area Has Sixth Straight Sales Gain

Mortgage & Real Estate

Existing home sales were up in November for the sixth straight month in the huge Houston area market.

Sales of single-family houses were up 11.4% from a year ago, according to the latest monthly figures posted by the Houston Association of Realtors. Compared to the previous month, sales rose 4.1%.

A total of 3,973 detached units changed hands in November versus 3,568 a year ago. Also, 322 townhouses and condominium apartments were sold in the month, up from 317 in November 2010.

All price tiers recorded gains except for the luxury $500,000-and-above segment, where activity was down 5.9% and pulled the average price paid for single-family detached units down 4.8%. Still, at $206,969, the average was the second highest ever for a November in the region.

 The number of attached homes sold rose 1.6% compared to a year ago, marking November as the fifth straight monthly sales increase in that category. The average price for townhomes and condos climbed 8.4%, to $172,658.

HAR also reported that month-end pending sales for November totaled 3,013. That’s a 16.6% increase from last year and suggests a seventh positive month in a row when the December figures are tallied.

Another indication of an improving market, the number of active listings, declined 13% at the end of November, to 45,113. The inventory of single-family homes dropped to 6.2 months at the current sales pace, its lowest level in almost a year. The figure is significantly better than the national inventory of single-family homes of eight months as reported by the National Association of Realtors.

The Houston area is “wrapping up 2011 on solid footing,” said HAR Chairman Carlos Bujosa, who works for Transwestern. And noting that the region is expecting to add 84,000 new jobs in 2012, Bujosa added that “further strengthening” can be expected in the coming months.

Foreclosure sales accounted for 20.2% of all deals in November, an increase of 9% from 12 months earlier. The median price of foreclosures ticked up 0.8% to $80,000.

Daily Briefing | Friday, December 23, 2011

  • Freddie Has Strongest Purchase Month Since February

    Freddie Mac purchased $38.1 billion of mortgages in November, a 12% gain from the month prior, and its best acquisition month since February, according to new figures released by the GSE.

  • Fitch Questions Ocwen’s MA Moves in MSRs

    Fitch Ratings this week downgraded its servicer rating on Ocwen Financial Corp., Atlanta, questioning its rapid expansion in servicing contracts and voicing doubts about its heavy use of offshore workers.

  • New Home Sales Continue to Show Signs of Hope

    New home sales rose in November for the third consecutive month to the highest level since April, the Census Bureau reported Friday.

  • MetLife Partnership Slows KB Home Sales

    KB Home’s midyear decision to transition its mortgage marketing agreement to a new lender caused significant delays in the Los Angeles-based homebuilder’s ability to close home sales in the last quarter of its fiscal year.

  • With Payroll Tax Deal Done, Here Comes the G-Fee Hike

    Consumers soon will be paying more for government-backed mortgages now that the House and Senate have reached a deal to extend a payroll tax break for two months.

  • Five Trade Groups Tell FHFA: No Fee for Service

    Five industry trade groups have sent a new letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency director Edward DeMarco, telling him – more or less – that they believe the ‘fee for service’ concept would be a disaster for both the industry and consumers.

  • EverBank Kicking the Tires at MetLife Home Loans?

    Add the name of EverBank Financial to the list of bidders that have been kicking the tires at MetLife Home Loans, Irving, Texas.

  • Former MT, NMN Reviewer Mary Dum Dies

    Mary Joine Dum, a leading expert on the use of computers in real estate appraisal and a former product reviewer for National Mortgage News and Mortgage Technology magazine, died on Dec. 15 in Brentwood, California. She was 80.

  • Multifamily Construction Shines in California, SF Not So Much

    Housing production in California was up in November for the fourth consecutive month. But builders in the Golden State are still on track to start the third lowest number of units on record in 2011.

Leave a Reply