Weekly report shows impact of low inventory and high prices on Houston market

Jennifer Wauhob of HAR (HAR, iStock)

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

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

The report also shows that pending listings suffered their largest year-over-year decline of the year – 2,366 compared to 3,128 last year, a drop of 24.4%. The second-largest drop in pending listings came five weeks earlier, with a 19.1% year-over-year drop, according to the publication.

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

Sellers pulled fewer real estate listings from MLS last week than a year earlier. Off-market listings remained 3.2% lower than last year, with 806 homes moving from active to off-market status compared to 833 last year, a decline according to Wauhob much smaller than others because homes, in general, do not sell as much.

Closings remained down for a third consecutive week, reflecting the continued effects of limited inventory, record prices and rising interest rates for potential buyers. For the week ended May 23, sales of closed homes totaled 2,155 compared to 2,399 in 2021, down 10.2% year over year.

“It reflects what I see as a realtor in the field, and that’s okay,” Wauhob said. “We’ve kind of been in hyperdrive for about two years now, and we’ve been going so fast for so long that I think prices and interest are starting to stabilize.”

Attendance at screenings in Greater Houston fell 12.6% from the same week in 2021, and attendance at screenings totaled 41,223 from 47,199 in the same week last year.

[Houston Agent Magazine] —James Bell