The Houston Association of Realtor (HAR) announced this week that home sales declined in February for the first time in six months. The 5.8% year over year decline in single family home sales is right on target with what economist have predicted for the Houston area since the decline in oil prices, related job layoffs, continuation of tight inventory of listings and rising home prices.
This could signal the beginning of a more normal real estate market for the Houston area. We continue to have a very strong market, but the tap on the brakes in February certainly goes along with predictions for 2015. The number of months of inventory, meaning the estimated time it would take to deplete current listings based on the previous 12 months performance, is up slightly to a 2.7-months supply. This is still a very strong number. Nationally, the number is 4.7 so Houston continues to be one of the best markets in the country. Only time will tell.
Personally, I still see continued multiple offer situations and strong demand in neighborhoods near the city. EaDo (East of Downtown) is a feeding frenzy for homes under $250,000. With the continued revitalization in this up and coming area, it is not unusual to see sales prices well above the asking price. It is still an exciting time to be a homeowner in Houston!