Low inventory and high prices continue to impact Houston real estate market

Houston home listings rose slightly last week from a year earlier

HAR's Jennifer Wauhob (HAR, iStock)
HAR's Jennifer Wauhob (HAR, iStock)

Houston home listings rose slightly last week from a year earlier, according to the Houston Association of Realtors, offering hope to prospective buyers facing a shortage of inventory.

Realtors entered 2,975 properties into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the week ended May 23, HAR’s latest weekly activity snapshot shows, up 0.3% from 2,965 during the same week in 2021, according to Houston Agent Magazine.

The report also shows that pending listings suffered their steepest year-over-year decline of the year – 2,366 versus 3,128 last year, a 24.4 percent drop. The second most significant decline in pending listings was five weeks earlier, with a 19.1 percent, year-over-year drop, the publication reports.

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“If you’re a buyer, this is good news”, said Jennifer Wauhob, chair of the Houston Association of Realtors Board. “If the demand is not as crazy, you won’t be competing with many people, and you might be able to negotiate better terms.”

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Sellers withdrew fewer property listings from the MLS last week than a year earlier. Off-market listings remained 3.2 percent below last year, with 806 homes going from active to off-market status compared with 833 last year, a decline Wauhob says is much less significant than others as homes, in general, are not selling as much.

Closings remained down for a third straight week, reflecting the ongoing effects of limited inventory, record-high prices, and rising interest rates for would-be buyers. For the week ended May 23, closed home sales totaled 2,155 compared to 2,399 in 2021, a 10.2 percent year-over-year decline.

“It does reflect what I’m seeing as a realtor out on the field, and that’s okay,” Wauhob said. “We’ve kind of been in hyperdrive for about two years now, and we’ve just been going so fast for so long that I think pricing and interests are starting to level off.”

Attendance at showings across Greater Houston dropped 12.6 percent from the same week in 2021, and showings attendance totaled 41,223 compared with 47,199 during the same week last year.

[Houston Agent Magazine] — James Bell