Houston, Texas, real estate sales gained from their year-ago levels for the 11th straight month in August, breaking more sales and price records, the Houston Association of Realtors reported today.

Total property sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, multifamily homes, country homes, high-rise properties and lots listed on the MLS, totaled 8,451 last month, up 5.5 percent from August 2005.

Sales of new and existing single-family homes posted a record for the month of August at 7,052, up 5.9 percent from 6,661 a year earlier. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for August of $152,000, up 5.6 percent from a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that figure.

“We just closed out the most active summer ever for Houston real estate, with the highest number of properties sold and for the highest prices of any summer in the history of the city,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR chair and marketing director for Greenwood King Properties.

Separately, existing single-family home sales totaled 6,126 in August, which was a 5.8 percent increase from August 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $145,800, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of August was 46,201 properties, which was an increase of 2.7 percent versus last August and the second month with a year-over-year increase. The figure was an increase of 588 properties from last month, which is an increase of more than 2,600 homes in the last two months and shows that 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, unchanged from July. This statistic signals more of a seller’s market and also shows that demand is more than keeping up with the available supply of homes, as displayed by August reporting the 22nd consecutive decline in year-over-year months inventory figures, according to HAR.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in August increased 2.6 percent compared to year-ago sales, rising from 690 closings to 708. The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment gained 4.5 percent year-over-year to $119,950.

The Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors includes residential properties and new homes listed by 24,000 Realtors throughout Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Brazoria, Galveston, Waller and Wharton counties.

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