Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Houston House Prices: Still Pretty Good

From the new Houston Association of Realtors press release on recent home sale data:
Single-Family Homes Update
At $182,316, the average sales price for single-family homes dropped 10.5 percent from February 2008, when it was $203,797. However, the figure is up $18,000 from January of this year. The median price of single-family homes in February was $138,970, off 8.0 percent from one year earlier, but up about $10,000 from January. The national single-family median price reported by NAR is $169,900, illustrating the continued higher value and lower cost of living that prevail in the Houston market.
Now I can tell you we are not seeing those kinds of declines in value on the far north side of Houston in quality neighborhoods and with quality homes. The decline there, if any, is hardly noticeable.

But really, this chart contained in the release is all you need to see to get a simple read of the situation in Houston:

Look at the trend lines. Both the average price (skewed higher by expensive homes) and the median price (half of all sales are priced higher, half lower) -- both average and median trend lines show something very important that you can clearly see just by eyeballing it:

Prices in the Houston area are at mid-2007 levels right now.

In case anyone missed it, 2007 was a pretty darn good year for housing in Houston.