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Lack Of Affordable Housing Hurts May Home Sales

Sales of single-family homes in the Houston area fell by 4.3 year-over-year, while condo and townhome sales dropped for the first time since January.

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May brought another drop in what’s been a roller-coaster year so far for Houston-area home sales. Single-family home sales came to 6,807 units for the month, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, down 4.3 percent compared to May of last year.

“I think it’s something that was predicted in the beginning of the year that we would not do as well in 2015 as we did in 2014, which was a record year,” says Houston-based Shad Bogany, past chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors.

Much of the drop came from a sharp decline in sales of affordable housing. Homes priced below $150,000 are in especially short supply. Sales of condominiums and townhomes fell for the first time since January. Rentals of all home types also took a hit.

“The rental market for the first time went down,” Bogany says. “Leasing homes are down from the previous year. So, there I see where the [lower] oil prices and employment is having an effect.”

Inventory of single-family homes popped up to a 3.1 months supply, compared to 2.8 months in April. Inventory is a rough measure how long it would take to sell out the entire listed supply of housing. By comparison, the national supply comes to 5.3 months.

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Andrew Schneider

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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