Friday, April 28, 2006

Houston Real Estate Sales Up Again in March 2006

Houston home prices have momentum. According to the Houston Association of Realtors' (HAR) most recent press release, this March set records for average and median home prices in Houston. In terms of number of homes, March sales outpaced March 2005 sales and the previous month's sales.

Inventories have ticked up, as HAR reports 5.3 months of inventory at the end of March vs. the 5.2 months of inventory at the end of February. As noted in the press release, inventory is up by 1,100 homes in February, but down by 1,200 homes since March 2005.

Houston real estate transactions numbered 8,015, a 22% increase over March 2005 transactions.
All Categories: March 2005 March 2006 Percent Change

Total property sales 6,548 8,015 +22.4%
Total dollar volume $1,114,378,189 $1,475,233,100 +32.4%
Average single-family $178,519 $193,640 +8.5%
sales price
Median single-family $136,000 $143,310 +5.4%
sales price
Active listings 43,152 41,948 -2.8%
Pending sales 5,118 5,506 +7.6%
Months inventory* 6.0 5.3 -12.3%

* Months inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. This figure is representative of the single-family homes market.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

NAR Asks Home Owners: If You Sell It, Will Buyers Come?

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As spring approaches, home buyers’ and sellers’ thoughts turn to the real estate market. With the premiere of television advertising spots titled, “Don’t Try This at Home,” the National Association of Realtors® encourages home sellers to protect what could be their largest investment by enlisting the help of a professional.

“Selling a home is like climbing Mount Everest,” said Thomas M. Stevens, NAR president and senior vice president of NRT Inc., from Vienna, Va. “If you don’t prepare correctly, you’ll never achieve your goal. Getting a signed contract is like reaching the peak, but that’s only half the journey. Many things can happen on the way back down the mountain. Savvy sellers know to hire a Realtor® to protect their interests and guide them through.”

Home owners who try to sell their home without professional help must overcome a number of hurdles. As mentioned in the TV spots, the obstacles include making the appropriate disclosures, preparing the home for sale, pricing the home appropriately for a dynamic market and, most importantly, attracting qualified, motivated buyers. According to the 2005 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, only 17 percent of do-it-yourself home sellers used the Internet to market their home; that’s at a time when Internet use in home searches has risen dramatically – in 2005, 77 percent of all home buyers used the Internet to look for a home.

Finding an interested buyer is only the first step toward a successful sale. The typical home sale today involves more than 20 steps after the initial contract is accepted to complete the transaction. Consumers can learn more about potential post-contract pitfalls by visiting

Most home sellers in today’s market recognize the hazards inherent in do-it-yourself home selling, and rely on the expertise of a real estate professional to assist them when they sell their home. The percentage of owners who sell without representation has been trending down and is now at a record low – according to the 2005 profile, only 13 percent of recent home sellers sold their home without professional help, and only half of those would do it again.

“Selling a home is a full-time job,” said Stevens. “The average homeowner may sell three or four homes in his or her lifetime; Realtors® can sell hundreds over the course of a career. This experience is invaluable, and it’s part of the reason why home sellers who use a real estate professional can expect to sell their homes for 16 percent more, on average, than sellers who try to do it themselves.”

Radio versions of the “Don’t Try This at Home” TV spots began airing on February 6. Those advertisements will run in tandem on radio and television with another NAR spot that premiered on television March 6 titled, “Someone You Can Trust.” That spot highlights the Realtor® Code of Ethics and underscores the honesty and integrity that Realtors® bring to each and every transaction.

Now in its ninth year, the National Association of Realtors® Public Awareness Campaign has helped millions of consumers realize the value of using a Realtor® to help them buy or sell real estate. In 2006, the Public Awareness Campaign will run more than 4,000 spots in national TV and radio, 18,000 spots in local radio and 12,000 spots on XM satellite radio. Ads are airing on network television stations from March through September, and on radio stations from February through November.


National Realty News, a BEXT Inc. publication
Thursday, March 30, 2006