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2017 Was a Record-Setting Year for Houston’s Housing Market

For those looking to buy a new home in Houston, you may be pleased to find that the residential real estate market has proven to be resilient against a down-turn of events. In fact, Houston real estate resisted the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to complete its strongest year ever, according to the 2018 MLS Report by the Houston Association of Realtors. 

The Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of REALTORS® includes residential properties and new homes listed by 37,000 REALTORS®. You can read the full 2018 report below.

Despite the devastating assault that Hurricane Harvey waged on the greater Houston area last summer – from which many property owners are still recovering – the Houston real estate market set new records by the time the sun set on 2017.

Single-family home sales for the full year rose 3.5 percent compared to 2016, the previous record year. However, as 2018 gets underway, the supply of housing remains constrained. Inventory had begun to reach more balanced levels when Harvey’s widespread flooding sent affected residents scrambling for whatever undamaged rental and sales homes were available to provide safe shelter for themselves and their families. 

According to the latest report produced by the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR), sales of all property types in 2017 totaled 94,726 units, a 3.5-percent increase over 2016’s volume, which was 91,530. Total dollar volume for single-family homes sold in 2017 rose 6.5 percent to $23 billion.

"No one could ever have imagined 2017 turning out to be a record-setting year for the Houston real estate market, which had weathered the effects of the energy slump only to have Harvey strike such a devastating blow,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JP Morgan Chase.

“We know that many are still working tirelessly to rebuild their lives after Harvey, but overall, this clearly illustrates the incredible resilience of the people and the economy of Houston, Texas. We also know that some neighborhoods are performing better than others, so it’s always advisable to consult a Realtor when thinking about buying or selling a home."

As 2017 began, the high end of the Houston real estate market was showing welcomed signs of recovery from the effects of the weakened energy sector, and inventory levels in all housing categories finally began to rise. Strong employment numbers translated to an influx of home buyers and renters to the Houston area from across the country and around the world. However, Harvey’s late August rampage interrupted hiring and forced those whose homes and apartments were damaged or destroyed to seek immediate housing anywhere they could, causing inventory to shrink. 

Fortunately, the setbacks resulting from this historic weather catastrophe were much shorter-lived than anticipated. By the end of September – just four weeks after Harvey hit – the “Houston Strong” housing market saw home sales rebound and the greatest rental activity of all time. The positive momentum continued through the final months of 2017.

By the end of December, a record 79,117 single-family homes had sold. That represents an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous record of 76,450 in 2016.

On a year-to-date basis, the average price rose 2.9 percent to $291,340 while the median price increased 3.8 percent to $229,900. Total dollar volume for full-year 2017 jumped 6.5 percent to $23 billion.

The strongest one-month sales volume of 2017 was recorded in June with 8,362 single-family homes sold. By contrast, the lightest one-month sales volume took place in January with 4,104 sales.

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