Houston housing market improved during 2011

The Houston Association of Realtors has released a report determining that the city's real estate market had a successful year during 2011.

The Houston Association of Realtors has released a report determining that the city's real estate market had a successful year during 2011.

According to the industry group, the local housing market outperformed national averages in December to bring overall annual statistics into positive territory.

More specifically, the report indicated that home prices were pushed to an all-time high for December, while the monthly inventory shrunk to the lowest level recorded in more than two years.

"2011 ended on a very promising note," said HAR chairman Wayne A. Stroman. "We spent a good part of the year struggling to accurately gauge the market because we were comparing to accelerated sales in 2010 that resulted from the homebuyer tax credit."

However, once HAR successfully managed to reevaluate the market without the tax credit, it was discovered that Houston totaled 5,460 home sale transactions in December - a 6.6 percent increase on a year-over-year basis. In addition, property data showed that the total dollar volume edged 7.5 percent higher to $1.16 billion during the month.

"Once we distanced ourselves from that period, we saw clear indications of a healthy market with a balanced supply of housing inventory and strong pricing - conditions that put Houston in an enviable position compared to many housing markets around the country," Stroman added. "The key to sustaining that positive momentum in 2012 will be continued improvement in Houston's employment numbers."

Meanwhile, the report also showed that foreclosed houses made up the same amount of property sales in 2011 as in they did in 2010 - accounting for 20.6 percent of all sales.

While the price of foreclosures remained relatively unchanged in December - at a median price of $82,550 - the median price of homes sold rose 1.9 percent to $160,000.
   
Additionally, the Houston housing market concluded 2011 with significant spikes in home sales, the report indicated. In the city, the rate of single-family home sales rose by 4 percent, while the December sales of townhouse and condominium rose by 3.2 percent on a year-over-year basis. As a result, total sales in Houston increased by 4.3 percent throughout the course of the year.



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