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Houston housing market starts off with a bang in 2006


The Houston real estate market experienced continued strength as 2006 began with the highest sales on record for the month of January.

Many other parts of the country have seen weakness at the beginning of the year, but the Houston housing market is as strong as ever, with monthly records for sales, volume and prices, according to statistics released by the Houston Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Total property sales for the month totaled 4,584, which was a 16.4 percent increase over January 2005. Properties sold during the month reached a total of nearly $775 million, an 18.6 percent increase compared to last year's more than $650 million in January sales. The median home price for a single-family home reached $138,110, and the average price rose to $179,160, both increases from last year of 4.4 percent. Additionally, total sales for single-family homes in Houston increased by 13.2 percent to 3,641 in January, up from last year's 3,217.

"The greater Houston housing market should never be underestimated, as real estate has been one of the reliable backbones for the local economy for quite some time," says Lorraine Abercrombie, chair of HAR. "Signs are already surfacing that indicate 2006 will be another banner year for the real estate market in the region." Month-end pending sales of properties reached 4,349, which was up 19.3 percent from last year, and already signals a stronger February 2006, compared to 4,078 properties sold in February 2005.

Houston's current median price of $138,110 is 34 percent less than the national median price, which reached $209,300 in December, according to statistics from the National Association of Realtors.







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