While the Greater Houston market showed year-over-year increases in both sales numbers and home prices according to the latest report from the Houston Association of Realtors, the local markets showed near uniformity in sales trends and mixed results when evaluating closing prices last month.
“With August and September home sales figures skewed by the effects of Hurricane Harvey, October seemed to mark a return to normalcy in terms of overall market activity,” said HAR chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “However, we are prepared for slower sales as we wrap up 2018, between the tight supply of homes and the fact that we typically see less activity around the holidays.”
For the lion’s share of the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest and Heights-area neighborhoods, home sales shot up this past October, while average price increased nearly uniformly and median pricing experienced a sharp dip in nearly all neighborhoods.
For Garden Oaks and Oak Forest buyers and their neighbors, it was quite the bustling month. Fifty-four homes flew off the market last month, after just 40 were sold during the same month in 2017 following Harvey. The 35 percent uptick represented the local area’s largest increase of sales. To date in 2018, 569 sales have closed in the area compared to 489 through the same period in 2017 – an increase of slightly more than 16 percent.
This area was the only one to experience a dip in both means of evaluating market pricing movement. Median pricing on homes here dropped 3.3 percent down to $395,000 at month’s end, while average price on a home in these areas dipped slightly to $476,105 – a 2.9 percent drop-off.
The western edge of the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest neighborhoods and those just west of Highway 290 experienced a 31.8 percent drop-off in home sales last month compared to October 2017 – only 15 sales were finalized, compared to 22 the year before. Year-to-date, the area is only marginally behind last year’s pace, with 199 sold thus far in 2018 compared to 203 through the same time frame in 2017.
Pricing trends showcased mixed results here, with average price jumping 6.6 percent to $296,033 by month’s end, and median home prices dipping down 5.1 percent to $268,000.
In the greater Heights section of The Leader’s coverage area, there was a slight uptick in sales, with 80 homes closing compared to 72 the previous October. Year-to-date, the Heights has seen a rising trend in sales, with 860 properties sold thus far, compared to 829 through the same point last year.
Average home prices were also fairly steady in the area, with a slight rise to $527,949. Meanwhile, median pricing trends showed a decline, dipping 3.8 percent to $463,852 at the end of October.
Neighborhoods on the eastern side of the Heights – such as Sunset Heights and Woodland Heights – experienced a sharp rise with regards to sales last month. Forty-three are now gone after 33 were sold last October; and the 30.3 percent rise was the second-largest among local neighborhoods. Through the end of October, there has been an 11 percent uptick in sales, with 466 sold thus far in 2018.
On the pricing front, this area simultaneously experienced the sharpest rise on average price and lowest dip in median price. Average price rose 12.9 percent to $512,623, while median price dropped to $387,900.
In the southernmost swath of the Heights (and The Leader’s coverage area) and Washington Avenue, there was a 13.2 percent rise in sales, with 60 homes flying off the market compared to 53 last October. Year-to-date, the area is mostly in line with last year’s pace, selling 595 homes thus far compared to 592 through the same point in 2017.
Median prices here rose 4.4 percent (to $459,459), while average home price remained relatively steady compared to last October, dipping 0.4 percent down to $526,867.