Home sales in the Houston metropolitan area rose 6.4 percent in August from a year ago, posting record activity for the month, according to statistics released today by the Houston Association of Realtors.

Total sales for August reached 6,827, representing the highest number of sales ever recorded in the month of August. Additionally, year-to-date existing-home sales continue to rise ahead of last year’s record-setting pace, with 48,787 listings sold. Year-to-date existing sales through August 2003 totaled 43,839.

“August marks the sixteenth consecutive month in which sales of existing homes have broken records for their respective months. And with more than 4,400 properties slated to close this month, September looks to continue this trend,” said HAR Chairman and Stewart Title Chief Economist Ted C. Jones, Ph.D. “Housing sales are seasonal in nature. In the past six years, June, July and August have averaged 10.3 percent, 10 percent and 9.8 percent of all annual closings, respectively. September accounted for 8.1 percent of all sales in the same period. So while a decline is seasonally expected, September portends to be another outstanding month.”

The median price of single-family homes reached $139,000 in August, representing the second-highest median price ever recorded in the month of August in Houston. Last August’s median price of $139,900 holds the record for the month. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Houston’s current median price of $139,000 is 27.3 percent lower than the national median price, which reached $191,300 in July, according to statistics released by the National Association of Realtors.

Additionally, the Houston market experienced the highest volume of homes on the market since August of 1986, according to HAR.

The Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 10,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties.

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