Historically, August is typically a slower month for Houston real estate sales. Late summer vacations, kids starting school, the heat(!), all contribute to a lack of interest from some homebuyers. However, like last summer, August 2021 was pretty good by August standards. However, we did see inventory levels start to tick up, which could present greater options for homebuyers as we enter the fall selling season.
According to the latest report from the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), 9,890 single-family homes sold in August compared to 9,118 a year earlier. This is slightly down from the previous month, which saw 10,159. As stated earlier, this is something we expect in August.
Luxury home sales did not lead the way in August. Homes priced over $750K had been the leading market segment for several months. In August, homes priced from $500,000 to $750,000 held the lion’s share of sales volume with a 48.5 percent year-over-year increase. That was followed by the $250,000 to $500,000 segment, which rose 31.8 percent.
Home prices continued to rise year over year. The single-family home average price increased 15.3 percent to $389,197 and the median price climbed 13.9 percent to $309,910.
According to HAR, total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 14.4 percent to 27,555. August sales of all property types totaled 12,036, up 9.2% compared to August of last year. As a result, the absorption rate for August 2021 was 44%. In other words, almost half of homes listed on the market sold.
How fast are homes selling? They are still moving pretty fast. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, fell to 26 days in August. Although flat month over month, this is the lowest Days on Market (DOM) number of the year.
For the first time all year, inventory levels rose. Inventory registered a 1.9-months supply compared to 2.6 months a year earlier. However, compared to national numbers, Houston inventory levels are still very low. NAR recently reported that national inventory levels registered 2.6 months.
As we enter the Fall months, we should see an increase in new inventory and options for homebuyers. The Fall months are usually a pretty active time of the year. Mortgage rates are still near historic lows and we anticipate homebuyers will continue to work to take advantage of those rates through the end of the year.
Regardless of what happens, be prepared. Make sure you have the information you need to make an informed decision on when to start house hunting or listing your home. Contacting a Norhill Realtor is a good place to start. One of our experienced agents can talk you through the current state of the market in the neighborhoods you care about, and if buying, get you connected with an experienced, professional mortgage broker so you can decide on the timing that works for you.