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HOUSTON — (November 20, 2012) — The number of homes on the market in Houston reached the lowest level in more than a decade in October, thanks to a surge in sales that also lifted prices to the highest levels ever for an October.
Single-family home sales skyrocketed 32.7 percent compared to October 2011, according to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), and accounted for the 17th consecutive month of positive sales. Contracts closed on 5,379 homes, driving inventory down to 4.4 months, a level last seen in December 2001. All segments of the housing market saw gains in October, with the steepest among homes priced above $250,000.
"Home sales throughout Houston were incredibly strong in October and sent the supply of homes down to 4.4 months, which is the lowest level we've observed in 11 years," said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. "Our active real estate market reflects the general health of the Houston economy, most notably the addition of close to 96,000 new jobs over the past year, according to the latest Texas Workforce Commission employment report. The inventory squeeze has definitely created fertile ground for homebuilders."
Foreclosure property sales reported in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) declined 10.9 percent compared to October 2011. Foreclosures made up 15.5 percent of all property sales, the lowest one-month sales volume of the year and a likely reflection of the continued slowdown in the sales of homes priced below $80,000. The median price of October foreclosures rose 6.3 percent to $85,000.
October sales of all property types in Houston totaled 6,457, a staggering 35.1 percent increase over October 2011. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month shot up 47.2 percent to $1.4 billion versus $945 million a year earlier.
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