Houston Homes Sales Pale Compared to 2010 Tax Credit Year

Houston recorded fewer home sales in May, compared to a year ago with a federal home buyer tax credit. National figures are also at their weakest pace since November. Ed Mayberry reports.

According to the Multiple Listing Service of the Houston Association of Realtors, May single-family home sales fell 11.9 percent compared to the year of the tax credit. Figures pale in comparison with last year, as a result, according to HAR Chairman Carlos Bujosa.

"All that activity that had taken place because of the tax credit, all of a sudden it just dropped off. And I suspect that it's going to be with us for several months yet, possibly into the fall, where we're going to see numbers — whether they're pendings or closings — that are going to be distorted because of last year's activity."

The 5,000 homes that sold in May represent the highest monthly volume recorded since June of last year, just after the tax credit expired. Total dollar volume for properties sold last month declined 6.7 percent to $1.2 billion versus $1.3 billion a year earlier. Volume continues to soar among rental properties.

The National Association of Realtors says home sales sank 3.8 percent last month, with first-time homebuyers making up only 35 percent of sales.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...