Houston-area home sales bounced back in September after a double-digit decline in storm-battered August, when Hurricane Harvey flooding forced real estate offices to close and open houses to cancel.

Buyers closed on 6,913 single-family homes last month at a median price of $232,000, the latest monthly data from the Houston Association of Realtors show.

The sales activity represents a 4.2% increase from a year earlier, yet some of last month's activity was likely the result of Harvey-related delays that pushed closings into September. The median price was up 5.5%.

Demand for single-family rentals last month reached a record high with leases up 83.6% and townhome/condominium leases up 92.2%.

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Rental rates followed suit, up 7.9% on average to $1,886 for a single-family home. Average townhome/condominium rent grew 5.4% to $1,601.

September's rebound followed a nearly a 24% sales decline in August that interrupted 10 straight months of positive sales, according to the realty association, which tracks Multiple Listing Service property sales throughout primarily Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

For the year, sales are 2.3% ahead of the 2016.

"I don't think anyone expected to see home sales in positive territory this soon after a natural disaster of Harvey's magnitude, but the September report speaks volumes about the incredible resiliency of the Houston real estate market," HAR chair Cindy Hamann said in a statement.

Still, townhome and condominium sales fell 5.8% in September with 533 units selling. In August, sales were off by nearly 30%. The median price last month jumped 8.4% to $159,950.

With a 4.1-month supply, housing inventory was up compared with a year earlier, but down from August when it was 4.4 months.

Tribune Content Agency