Fueled by the April 30 contract deadline for the federal home buyer’s tax credit, area home sales saw huge gains in April versus a year ago. The Houston market overall had 26.7 percent more single family homes sold in April versus last year.
Two local HAR areas did better than the market. In the Kingwood area (HAR #32), one hundred single family homes were sold during the month – a 29.9% increase.
Montgomery County Southwest (HAR #40) sold 49 homes which was a whopping 58 percent more than last year. That gain was due in part to a home builder pulling out of Oakhurst and pricing spec homes for a quick sale, says Lisa Dempsey, Keller Williams Realty Northeast senior team leader.
The Atascocita/Humble area (HAR #1), one of the fastest growing housing markets in the country last year, sold 213 homes this April. That was up 14.5% versus the previous April, but slightly below the market’s results.
Tax credits of $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for resale buyers helped listing figures as well. The Houston market had 8% more active listings in April than the same month last year. Locally, area 32 had 4.6% more listings, area 1 had 10.8% and area 40 had 18.1%.
The Houston area median home prices were the highest on record for April at $153,500, growing 2.4 percent compared to last year. Kingwood saw a $7,000 increase in median home prices moving to $177,000 or 4.1% better than last year. Meanwhile, median home prices declined in the Atascocita and Montgomery County areas by 5.6% and 1.6%, respectively.
Dempsey attributes the housing price increase in Kingwood to more high-end resale homes being sold. “In the last 90 days, houses priced over $400,000 are starting to move,” she notes. She notes that one of the reasons is that interest rates for jumbo loans have come down closer to the overall mortgage rates, making more expensive homes more affordable. Dempsey surmises that the price declines in area 1 and 40 are a result of the influx of first time home buyers.
Dempsey adds that while the tax credit contract deadline has passed, deals made by April 30 still need to be closed by June 30. Real estate experts predict that this fact will continue to spur home sales into the summer.