Business

Housing Shortage Takes Toll On April Home Sales

Inventory remains stuck at a record low as home prices soar.

The Houston Association of Realtors is reporting that local home sales flattened in April, snapping a 34-month streak of positive sales.

Single-family home sales totaled more than 6,400 homes. That’s the largest one-month sales volume since August, but it’s virtually identical to the numbers for April of last year.

At the same time, the average price of a home rose 7 percent, year-over-year, to a record high of well over $270,000. Housing inventory remained at a record-low of 2.6 months, where it’s been stuck since December.

“There’s not enough houses, and when the cupboards are bare, there’s nothing to sell,” said Ralph Bivins, editor of Realty News Report.

Despite soaring prices, many home owners are reluctant to put their homes on the market. They fear they may sell their home within a matter of days, then be unable to find a new one.

“Home builders are way behind,” Bivins said. “They’re building them as fast as they can, and that may be the only way – that may be the only solution to get out of this shortage, is to build our way out of it.”

Construction in the Houston area all but shut down in the wake of the housing crash. The flood of new residents, drawn to the region in search of jobs, left builders scrambling both for skilled workers and for lots to build homes on.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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