- Ohio Man Indicted in Scam Targeting Car Dealerships
- "The Interview" Will Open on Limited Screens Christmas Day; Park Place Stadium Schedules it Jan. 2
- Census Bureau Estimates Show How School-Age Child Poverty in Every County Compares with Prerecession Levels
- For "The Interview" Will Small Screen Lose Wonder and Suspension of Disbelief?
- Friends Helping Kids Have Christmas
- BOOK REVIEW: 'Monongah' Examines Culture of West Virginia Coal Mine Operations As Well as 1907 Disaster -- The Worst Industrial Accident in Nation's History
- OP-ED: The $7 Million University President
- OP-ED: US Attends, then Defies Conference on Nuclear Weapons Effects & Abolition
- Political Satire: Portsmouth Considering Marting Building for City Offices ... Again
- MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: Defense Dept. Contracts for Dec. 12, 2014
HOUSTON REAL ESTATE REPORT: Houston Home Sales Set Record in 2013; Feb. 2014 Sales Up 8.3 % Over Feb. 2013
Job growth, corporate relocation and population growth is exceptionally strong in Houston. Housing supply will tick up enough to keep the sale surge going. So, 2013 was the best year ever for home sales in Houston, but we believe 2014 sales will be even stronger.
And this won't go unnoticed. The premier real estate journalism organization, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) is holding its 48th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference in Houston in June. That means the world's best real estate reporters will be in Houston examining the city's residential and commercial markets. This isn't one of those conventions where the attendees just sit, nod and listen - they write about it. The NAREE conference generates tons of news in major newspapers, magazines and websites. Get ready to see "DATELINE HOUSTON" in virtually every major publication in the nation.
* * *
Houston Home Sales Up 8% in February
HOUSTON -- Don't believe the downers who say Houston's winning streak in residential sales is about to peter out. Houston's home sales will have to taper off someday, but that day will not come in 2014.
For the record: Houston home sales hit an annual record in 2013 with 73,232 sales. RealtyNewsReport predicts annual home sales in 2014 will surpass the 2013 total. Houston's home sales in 2014 will set a new annual sales record.
Houston homes sales were up 8.3 percent in February, compared to February of 2013, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.
With inventory at record lows, the average single-family home price was up more than 12 percent from a year ago, Houston Association of Realtors reported.
"I think prices will continue to increase as long as inventories are so low and demand remains high," says housing analyst Evert Crawford of Crawford Realty Advisors.
February's inventory of homes for sale remained at an all-time low of only 2.6-month supply, an extremely tight supply that has existed for the last three months. The inventory of homes for sale has never been lower.
A total of 4,765 homes were sold in February, the second-highest sales total for a February in the history of Houston real estate, the Realtors association reported.
The housing market is tight because Houston is gaining jobs faster than any other city in the nation -- more than 91,000 new jobs were added over the last year. Energy firms, such as Exxon Mobil, are transferring hundreds of employees to Houston every month. Household formation is up also.
One way to get out of the inventory squeeze is for the home building industry to construct new homes, says Houston Association of Realtors chair Chaille Ralph of Heritage Texas Properties.
Houston home builders have stepped up production, but they have been facing labor shortages and most builders have large backlogs of home buyers waiting for their homes to be completed.
So the only way to get out of the inventory jam is to build homes, but home builders don't have enough labor or lots to accelerate production to the Nth degree. Nevertheless, RealtyNewsReport predicts 2014 will have the highest annual home sales total Houston has ever experienced.
About Ralph Bivins
Ralph Bivins is a native Houstonian and a 1979 graduate of the University of Houston, with a bachelor's degree in communications. He began his newspaper career at the Clear Lake (TX) Daily Citizen. He later covered business and real estate at the San Antonio Express-News, and joined the staff of the Houston Chronicle in 1987, covering real estate for more than 17 years. He's a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors and is the founding editor of the widely read Realty News Report.
Ralph Bivins email: RealtyNewsReport@aol.com
Follow him on Twitter @RNRBulletin
Facebook: Realty News Report