Existing-home sales in the Houston metropolitan area set a monthly record in November and have already surpassed 2003’s year-to-date sales totals, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Total property sales, which included single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes, country homes, high-rise properties and lots listed on the MLS, reached 5,222 last month, the highest number of total sales ever recorded by the association during the month of November.

Total sales for single-family homes in Houston increased by 22 percent to 4,323 in November from last year’s 3,544.

Additionally, year-to-date existing-home sales broke last year’s record-setting level, with 65,637 listings sold so far this year, a gain of more than 10 percent from the first 11 months of 2003. Year-to-date existing property sales through November 2003 totaled 59,491.

“Houston’s highly-affordable housing coupled with interest rates less than 6 percent and the creation of 27,700 net-new additional jobs in the past 12 months have energized housing demand and led to record sales,” said HAR Chairman and Stewart Title Chief Economist Ted C. Jones, Ph.D. “While 2005 may not top this all-time record, Houston is in for an extended duration of significant housing demand.”

The median price of single-family homes reached $132,200 in November, only a negligible increase from the same month last year, but this month still marks the second-highest median price ever recorded in the month of November in Houston. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less that that figure.

Houston’s current median price of $132,200 is 29.3 percent less than the national median price, which reached $187,000 in October, according to statistics released by the National Association of Realtors.

The Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 19,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties.


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