Houston, Texas, real estate sales climbed from their year-ago levels for the 10th consecutive month in July, setting sales and price records, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.

Total property sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes, country homes, high-rise properties and lots listed on the MLS, totaled 7,975 last month, which was a 3.3 percent increase over July 2005 and the highest single-family sales total on record for July.

The median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for July of $155,890 (after last month’s median sales price was revised slightly lower), up 7.5 percent from a year ago. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that figure.

“The greater Houston housing market has been tremendous this summer. Whether someone was in the market to buy a home or looking to sell, residents of the region have certainly been keeping Realtors busy,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR chair and marketing director for Greenwood King Properties. “We look for 2006 to be the best year ever for Houston real estate sales, which means we hope the rates of home ownership also rise as more people realize the American Dream.”

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of July was 45,613 properties, which was an increase of 0.6 percent from last July, and is the first month with a year-over-year increase, after 10 consecutive declines. The figure was an increase of 1,171 properties from last month though, which is an increase of more than 2,000 homes in the last two months, and shows new listings may be outpacing sales activity.

The months inventory of single-family homes, which estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months’ sales activity, came in at 5.6 months in July, up from 5.4 months in June.

The Houston Association of Realtors also reported:

  • Existing single-family home sales totaled 5,757 in July, up 3 percent from July 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $150,000, an increase of 7.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

  • The number of townhouses and condos that sold in July totaled 684 units last month, up 4.3 percent from a year ago when 656 units were sold. The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment was up 1.3 percent for July, with the median sales price for the month being $120,000.

The Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 23,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties.

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