One reason home sales slowed to crawl was because buyers were having a hard time getting financed; that is starting to change and is boosting sales along the way.
It's happened again -- for the 16th straight month home sales are up in the Houston area. The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) says right now inventories are down to just under five months and prices are up by around five percent.
"We are going in the right direction, absolutely. Houston's real estate market is really hot, and has been for almost 16 months straight and we are at 8 percent or better than this time last year," said Danny Frank, HA Chairman Elect.
Frank says the average price for a home in our area rose 4.7 percent to more than $220,000. The median price also went up more than 6 percent and is $165,000.
"On a listing that is priced right that is in a good area and not in need of a lot of repair, we are seeing bidding wars," Frank said.
One reason home sales are rising is that previously foreclosed upon homeowners are once again eligible for a home loan.
"You have clients, homeowners, that went through foreclosures in 2007, '08, and '09, and the cooling off period of FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is now beginning to end for many of these families, so what you are seeing a lot of is these families reapply," said Steven Kaufman with Zeus Mortgage.
He says in many cases home buyers who could not get a loan in the past few years have worked to fix their credit issues and can now qualify for a mortgage.
"You are a lot of families rebounding much quicker than we expected and frankly they are all doing it at the same time, at least in Texas they are doing it at the same time," said Kaufman.
The new buyers are also finding low interest rates which can take the sting out of higher home prices.
Bottom line, if you are selling a home now is a good time. There is about five months of inventory on the market right now, which is considered low. The levels of available home has not been this low in our area since 2002.