Houston real estate market sees gains in sales and rentals

Mortgage

The housing market in Houston picked up in March as interest rates fell and the supply of properties for sale grew to its highest level in five months, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

Buyers closed on 7,072 single-family homes across the Houston area, an increase of nearly 5% over last year. The rental market had another hot month, too, as leases for single-family homes spiked 18.4%.

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“Home sales are benefiting from some of the lowest interest rates in years, but we also continue to see tremendous strength in the rental segment, and with inventory growing steadily, the Houston real estate market looks solid,” Shannon Cobb Evans, the association’s chair, said in a statement.

Job growth has also been a market driver, she said, citing the Texas Workforce Commission’s latest report showing a 2.4% increase in employment across the metro area over the past year.

Still, prices have been showing signs of moderating.

While the median sale price for a single-family home was up 2.1% to $240,000 last month, it was the smallest year-over-year increase since November.

Greater inventory could explain the smaller gains.

Though overall home sales inventory remains relatively low at 3.9 months, it reached a five-month high in March. The number of available properties last month jumped 17.5% to 41,127.


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