HOUSTON — (November 11, 2020) — Even with an ever-dwindling supply of housing and a lingering pandemic, consumers bought homes at a frenzied pace in October, keeping the Houston real estate market on the path to a record year. The high end of the market once again registered the greatest sales volume increase, with mid-range homes also attracting heavy activity.

According to the latest Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) Market Update, 9,287 single-family homes sold in October compared to 7,187 a year earlier. That represents a 29.2 percent increase and marks the fifth straight month of positive sales.

Homes priced at $750,000 and up surged 81.6 percent compared to October 2019. That was followed by the $500,000 to $750,000 housing segment, which jumped 78.4 percent year-over-year. Homes between $250,000 and $500,000, which make up the market’s biggest share of sales, also achieved notable increases over last year.

The single-family home median price rose 11.1 percent to $266,685 while the average price increased 12.4 percent to $334,996. Both figures are record highs for an October. Year-to-date sales are currently 7.7 percent ahead of 2019’s record pace.

Sales of all property types totaled 11,232 – up 31.5 percent from October 2019. Total dollar volume for the month rose 46.1 percent to $3.5 billion. The lease market had mixed results in October with a 5.1 percent decline in single-family housing while townhouse/condo leases jumped 11.0 percent.

“There was no way to anticipate that the Houston housing market would move at such incredible velocity when coronavirus struck, but I believe it is a testament to the importance of meeting consumers’ housing needs during a pandemic and the dedication of hard-working real estate professionals throughout our community,” said HAR Chairman John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center.

Lease Property Update

October delivered a mixed performance for Houston’s lease property market. Leases of single-family homes fell 5.1 percent year-over-year while leases of townhomes and condominiums were rose 11.0 percent. The average rent for single-family homes increased 6.2 percent to $1,907 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 3.5 percent to $1,595.

October Monthly Market Comparison

Consumers snapped up what few homes were available, continuing to seize upon historically low mortgage interest rates even as COVID-19 cases nationwide began to climb. Houston real estate marked its fifth consecutive month of positive sales. On a year-to-date basis, the market is now running 7.7 percent ahead of 2019’s record pace. Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all increased compared to October 2019. Pending sales shot up 38.6 percent. However, total active listings – or the total number of available properties – fell 25.9 percent.

A continued slowdown of new listings entering the market combined with another vibrant month of sales sent single-family homes inventory down to a 2.4-month supply compared to 3.8 months a year earlier. The last time inventory dropped that low was in December 2014. For October, new listings rose just 2.5 percent year-over-year. Housing inventory nationally stands at a 2.7-months supply, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Single-Family Homes Update

Single-family home sales soared 29.2 percent in October with 9,287 units sold throughout the greater Houston area compared to 7,187 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, sales are outperforming last year’s record volume by 7.7 percent. Strong sales volume in the upper segment of the market once again pushed pricing up. The single-family home median price rose 11.1 percent to $266,685 while the average price increased 12.4 percent to $334,996. Both figures are historic highs for an October.