According to a survey by the Associated Press and Re/Max, existing home sales in Houston were up 34 percent in November, compared to November of last year.
And the median home price — the point at which half of all homes sell for more, half for less — rose nearly 9 percent to $150,000.Î¾ That's the largest percentage price gain among southern cities.
Vicki Fullerton is the outgoing chair of the Houston Association of Realtors.Î¾ She believes December's sales figures, which will come out in the middle of next month, will be even better.
"Because the Ike Effect really took a whole quarter of 2008 to rebound.Î¾ And I think our numbers indicate we're gonna have a strong December and into January."
Fullerton says the extension of federal tax credits for first-time buyers, and expanding those credits to cover repeat owners is one of the key factors in the rise in home sales.
"Particularly that $6,500 tax credit for the move-up or move-down buyer that's been in their home for five of the last eight years is gonna show, hopefully, some growth in those 'move-up' buyers."
Other experts say it's anyone's guess whether the double-digit growth in home sales can be sustained once the tax credits expire at the end of April.Î¾ However, they also say Houston's solid employment base and relatively steady economy will continue to help the housing market.