Houston Home Sales Down for Third Month

Houston home sales are down again for the third month in a row. However — the sale of higher-priced houses is on the rise. Laurie Johnson has more on the state of Houston's housing market.

There's a bit of a slump in home sales in Houston recently. In February, sales of single family homes were down 5.8
percent compared to February of 2009.

However, that's still an improvement from January which saw a 12.3 percent decline in home sales.

The numbers released by the Houston Association of Realtors show that while overall sales are down, the sale
of homes in the $250,000 and up market is on the rise. HAR Chair Margie Dorrance says that segment of the
market saw double digit gains.

"The above $500,000 segment last month was exceedingly strong. This month, we're starting down at the $250,000 price point. From $250,000 and up it's about 15 percent. That is a wonderful number, we really are in a very enviable position among cities in the country."

Houston also saw improvement in the appreciation of home values. Dorrance says the average price of a single family home is up 12.3 percent and the median price is up 6.5 percent from one year ago.

"When you see those average prices continuing to rise, when you see that median price continuing to rise, that's telling you that the upper end of the market is truly showing great strength."

The average price of a home in Houston is $203,000. Average prices appreciated for the fifth consecutive month.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...