Although stay-at-home orders and social distancing took a toll on home sales and rentals in April, home prices still help up. The Houston real estate market’s strong start to the new year was abruptly interrupted as the full impact of the coronavirus outbreak was felt across Texas and the rest of the country.
According to the latest monthly Market Update from the Houston Association of Realtors, 6,199 single-family homes sold in April. That was a 19.1 percent decline compared to 7,666 a year earlier and ended a nine-month run of positive sales. Pricing, however, showed little impact with the single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rising 2.4 percent to $251,000, the highest price ever for an April.
Prior to April, home sales had been outpacing 2019’s record volume as consumers took advantage of historically low interest rates. Despite the slowdown in April, year-to-date sales are still running 1.4 percent ahead of last year’s level.
April Monthly Market Comparison
Single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all declined compared to April 2019, due to the Covid-19 effect on the local market. However, the median price rose to a new April record. Pending sales fell 17.6 percent due to market uncertainty, but total active listings, or the total number of available properties, were statistically unchanged.
Single-family homes inventory was down as strong demand during the first quarter closed up housing supply that was never filled up again by new listings. Inventory registered a 3.6-months supply in April, down from a 3.9-months supply a year earlier.
Houston Real Estate Highlights in April
- Single-family home sales fell 19.1 percent year-over-year, with 6,199 units sold
- The Days on Market (DOM) figure for single-family homes was unchanged at 58 days
- Total property sales dropped 21.6 percent, with 7,192 units sold
- The single-family home median price rose 2.4 percent to $251,000, reaching an April high
- The single-family home average price was flat at $310,331
- Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.6-months supply, down from 3.9 months last April but above the national inventory level of 3.4 months
- Townhome/condominium sales plunged 37.5 percent, with the average price up 11.9 percent to $227,577 and the median price up 12.2 percent to $181,750
- Lease properties staged a negative performance, as single-family home rentals fell 4.1 percent with the average rent down 1.7 percent to $1,765; Volume of townhome/condominium leases fell 9.5 percent with the average rent down 1.2 percent to $1,565