Houston Home Sales Improve

The Houston Association of Realtors released its June report, which shows sales of single-family homes are up .06 percent over June of last year. That's the first time sales have been up since January.

Ralph Bivins is editor of RealtyNewsReport.com, with decades of experience covering the Houston market. He says June has always been a great month for home sales.

"A lot of people close on home deals in June. June is always strong. Being able to get a clear reading on where the market is has been tough because of the homebuyer tax credit. Things like that have impacted the market, so comparing statistics makes it harder."

Last year's homebuyer tax credit caused a lot of people to buy homes last spring before the deadline ran out. That means sales throughout the rest of 2010 were lower than normal. So June's increase isn't so much a jump in sales as a stabilization after last year's slump. Bivins says it's also encouraging to see the average price of a single-family home is up and foreclosures are down.

"A regular home sale has a better price than a foreclosure. So the drop in foreclosures pushes the prices upward when you're looking at the averages or the median. Since there are fewer foreclosures in the mix, your average price is going to look a little bit higher."

He says while the numbers are good, the market isn't 100 percent healthy and it's hard to predict what will happen in the second half of the year because of uncertainty regarding the national economy.

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