The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) released their December 2016 report last week, and it turns out that 2016 was a much better year than some media analysts predicted.

Despite oil prices dipping below $30 a barrel in January of 2016, and never getting above 50% of their five year high in 2012, the Houston housing market has remained resilient.

Even though some in the media want to harken back to the 80’s, Houston is much more diversified today.  Did low oil prices help the local economy?  No… but they didn’t stop home prices from appreciating.

 

Goldilocks Market

In December, median single-family home prices rose 2.7% to $225,903 when compared with December 2015.  2.7% is a very reasonable increase, which is what we like. We’re calling it a “Goldilocks Market,” …not to hot… not to cold.

In stable, appreciating real estate environments, it becomes easier to predict future values.  Home buyers have confidence that they don’t have to time the market.

December 2016 HAR Real Estate Market Report 1

Here are some interesting statistics we gleaned from the report:

  • 5.3% more single family homes sold in December 2016 vs 2015
  • Single family median home prices rose 2.7% to $225,903 compared to December 2015
  • That was the highest ever median home price for a December in Houston
  • The average price of single family homes increased 4.3% to $294,512
  • Sales were up during all but 3 months of 2016
  • By the end of the year, a record 76,499 single family homes sold, up 3% from 2015 and 1.3% from the previous record in 2014
  • Months of inventory started the year at 3.3 months, grew to 4 over summer, and ended the year back at 3.3
  • Decembers 3.3 months of inventory is up from 3.2 in December 2015

 

Broken out by housing segment, December sales volume performed as follows:

$1 – $79,999: decreased 16.6 percent
$80,000 – $149,999: decreased 8.0 percent
$150,000 – $249,999: increased 19.5 percent
$250,000 – $499,999: increased 17.5 percent
$500,000 and above: increased 22.7 percent

High end homes finished the year strong with a volume increase of 22.7% compared to last year.   Why? With the election over, people are feeling more confident, which bodes well for 2017.  With more and more people getting into the high end market, you will want not want to wait much longer to make the jump.

 

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