Homes Sales Up Again In Houston

Good news for Houston's housing market — another jump in home sales last month. The positive July doesn't mean the market is completely healthy again.

After a dismal start to the year, Houston's housing market has started to bounce back, up almost 17-percent last month compared to July of 2010. All segments of the housing market were up last month, but because of the federal homebuyer's tax credit last year, July's numbers looked better than they really were.

This is Houston Association of Realtors Chairman Carlos Bujosa.

"If you look at year to date numbers, last year versus this year were down about 2.2 percent. Again, if you look at 2009, a year that had no unusual circumstances, we're down about 12.2 percent, so somewhere in between those two numbers is where we think the market probably is."

The home rental market was strong again last month, up 21-percent in July compared to a year ago. Bujosa says Realtors are reporting strong rental interest from people moving to Houston for new jobs.

"Those people are electing to rent, either because they have homes in the markets that they're coming from that they can't sell or they're not yet decided where they want to live or it's also possible that some of those people can't quality for a loan since it's much more difficult today to qualify for a loan than it was a few years ago."

The average price of a single family home in Houston hit its highest level for a July ever, up almost one percent to $224,000.