Real estate sales in Houston, Texas, jumped from their year-ago level for the 12th straight month in September, with single-family homes 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 7,163 last month, up 17.8 percent from September 2005.

Sales of new and existing single-family homes posted a record for the month of September at 5,954, up 19.3 percent from 4,990 a year earlier. Additionally, the median home price for a single-family home reached a monthly record for September of $150,000, up 3.1 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 have once again, written the book on sustaining growth by modest gain. While national real estate news is not very good, we are enjoying steady growth and in many cases, breaking previous records,” said Lorraine Abercrombie, HAR chair and marketing director for Greenwood King Properties. “We will watch with cautiously optimistic eyes as we approach the traditionally slower holiday season, but for now, we are pleased with the numbers.”

Separately, existing single-family home sales totaled 5,000 in September, which was a 17.9 percent increase from September 2005. The median sales price for existing homes in the Houston area was $143,400, an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

The number of available homes (active listings) at the end of September was 46,500 properties, which was an increase of 6.2 percent versus last September and the third month with a year-over-year increase. The figure was an increase of 299 properties from last month, which is an increase of nearly 3,000 homes in the last three months, and shows new listings are keeping up with increased sales activity.

Month-end pending sales — those listings expected to close within the next 30 days — reached 4,694, which was up 29.5 percent from last year, and signals a very strong October for sales.

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 5.5 months, down slightly from August. 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.

Additionally, the number of townhouses and condos that sold in September increased 17.5 percent from a year earlier, rising from 543 to 638 during the period. The overall median price in the townhouse/condo segment gained 13.2 percent year-over-year in September to $124,530.

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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