Houston's luxury home sales remain sluggish even as oil prices are rebounding from the downturn, a new housing report shows.
Buyers closed on 8,157 single-family homes in May, a 1% increase from a year earlier. It marks the second-most home sales in a single month in the city's history, the Houston Association of Realtors said Wednesday in its monthly report. The most came in June of last year.
The strongest sales were among homes priced in the $500,000 to $749,999 range, which jumped 10.3% and was up for the fourth consecutive month. This segment drove the average home price to $305,511, the highest level in Houston's history.
However, sales of luxury properties, those priced from $750,000, was flat for the third-straight month. Luxury home sales have been stagnant, even as U.S. oil prices hit $70 a barrel briefly in May for the first time since 2014.
"Slower sales among luxury homes should ease pricing pressure going forward which we know would be welcomed news for those concerned about affordability, but for now, Houston remains a seller's market," Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, HAR chairwoman, said in a statement.
The rental market also saw waning consumer interest for both single-family homes and townhomes or condominiums, according to the association, which tracks sales and leases handled through the Multiple Listing Service in primarily Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.
Single-family home leases fell 1.8% in May, while townhomes and condominiums plunged 22.6%. The average rent for a single-family home rose 3.7% to $1,845 per month. The average rent for a townhome or condo edged up 1% to $1,580 per month.
Tribune Content Agency