HAR: Houston home sales down during April

Houston home sales during April experienced many declines.According to the most recent information compiled by the Houston Association of Realtors, the region experienced year-over-year declines in home sales during April.Single-family home sales were down 14.2 percent from April 2010. The only segment that showed improvement was homes priced under $80,000, however, the greater sales involved with this sector negatively impacted the area's average home price.Including distressed sales, the number of properties sold during April totaled 5,534, which is down 12 percent year-over-year. The amount of dollars spent on these properties reached $1.1 billion, which is also down from 2010, when $1.2 billion was generated – a 12.8 percent decline.Houston property sales during the early months of 2010 are a bit skewed, as the government had issued a first-time homebuyers tax credit, which boosted the real estate market. The momentum generated by the tax break wasn't able to sustain a year later. The report relays, however, that last month's sales are up 10.1 percent from April 2009, when no external factors, such as the tax break, affected the market.During April, the average price of a Houston single-family property was $202,545, which is a 0.6 percent decline year-over-year. The median price for a single-family home was also down year-over-year, falling 2.2 percent to $148,000.Foreclosures fell by 4.6 percent year-over-year, and accounted for 22 percent of all home sales during the month. This percentage is less than March's total, during which foreclosure sales accounted for 23.5 percent more of the total property sales. April's median price for foreclosures declined 10.4 percent year-over-year to $79,700.”The April home sales figures remain skewed, as this was the period last year when the final push was on for consumers to beat the April 30 homebuyer tax credit deadline,” said Carlos Bujosa, HAR chairman. “We see tremendous interest in the Houston housing market as local employment numbers strengthen, particularly among rental properties, which give consumers an option until they are ready to enter the market as buyers.”Overall, the total number of listings increased year-over-year, totaling 51,694, which is up 5.8 percent from April 2010. However, this greater volume of available properties also increased the month's inventory, which rose to a 7.8-month supply, up from 6.5 months last year.While April's numbers are down year-over-year in a majority of categories, Houston recently added a significant amount of jobs. As these workers settle in and begin to save, the real estate market in the region could experience healthy improvement soon.?Courtesy of 2M?Realty News

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