Houston home sales increase during July

Houston's home sales and prices were up during July.According to a report from the Houston Association of Realtors, the region's real estate market continued its recent success, recording gains in several categories during July.The report revealed sales of single-family Houston properties increased 16.7 percent from the previous year, representing the third month of 2011 showing yearly improvement, and the second in a row. Furthermore, every price range recorded a greater volume of sales during the month, from the sub-$80,000 properties to those listed at $500,000 and above. Sales of all properties also grew during the month, totaling 5,692, which was 17.1 percent greater than the previous year.Experts believe the yearly gains aren't as positive as the figures indicate, as home sales plummeted last year followed the expiration of the federal government's tax credit for first-time homebuyers.”It is still premature to label this latest increase in home sales a true positive indicator, but with the effects of last year's tax credit fading and local employment figures strengthening, we should soon have an accurate reading on the Houston real estate market,” said Carlos P. Bujosa, HAR chairman and VP at Transwestern.Bujosa further explained that the year-to-date and July 2009 sales comparisons would paint a better picture of the Houston real estate market. He did relay that the city is in an enviable position compared to the status of other markets nationwide.In addition to rising sales, the region's median price for homes also increased from July 2010, settling at $224,110 – an all-time high for July in the Houston real estate sector, and the second-highest amount on record this year.While sales improved and prices increased, foreclosures also grew during the month. Overall, 13.5 percent more homes in the region became distressed from the previous year. Foreclosures represented 19.6 percent of all property sales in July, which is slightly up from June, but down from the levels recorded during the first five months of the year. The median price of foreclosed properties remained unchanged from July 2010 at $84,000.Despite the total of foreclosed properties increasing, the region's inventory declined 1.8 percent from the previous year, with 7.6 months of homes available currently. Active listings also declined from the previous year, settling at 50,022, which is 9.5 percent lower than the total in July 2010.Courtesy of 2M Realty News

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