As local buyers continued to recognize the opportunity Houston real estate has to offer, the sales rate surged in September.During the month, the single-family property sales rate increased 8.7 percent from a year earlier, according to a report from the Houston Association of Realtors. This marked 16 consecutive months of gains.”Demand for homes throughout Houston continues to outpace supply as we transition into the fall season,” said HAR chairman Wayne Stroman.Last month, contract closing totaled 5,014, resulting in a 5.4 percent drop in the local inventory. Although buyers may now have fewer options when purchasing property, this caused the average price of single-family homes to appreciate 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, to $220,992, the report said.However, buyers who see this price point should not be alarmed, as the median price of these types of homes was $165,000, a 6.1 percent gain from September 2011.A minimal presence of distressed properties is believed to have contributed to the gains not only last month, but so far this year. In September, foreclosure listings in Houston plummeted 12.5 percent.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.