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Home Sales Pick Up In September, Despite Mounting Layoffs

Job loss fears hurt the pricier end of Houston’s real estate market, but sales of less-expensive homes more than compensated.

Home sales picked up across Greater Houston in September after a lackluster August. Last month’s sales totaled 6,691 single-family homes, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, up 3.5 percent compared to September of last year.

The gains came strictly in the middle of the market, on homes priced between $150,000 and $500,000. Sales on both the low and high ends of the market declined.

“I think on the low end, we do not have enough inventory there,” says Shad Bogany, past chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “And that’s probably why you see a decline, because the first-time homebuyer market, in my opinion, is the hottest market in Houston. We just don’t have any inventory to satisfy those buyers. On the high-end market, I think that’s coming from the job layoffs or the uncertainty of whether or not I’m going to have a job, based on our oil and gas industry.”

Inventory is a rough measure how long it would take to sell out the entire listed supply of housing. Greater Houston’s inventory held at 3.5 months, where it has stood since July. By contrast, the national inventory was 5.2 months.

The average price of a single-family home rose to $270,901. That’s up just 0.5 percent from a year ago, but enough for a new September record.

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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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