Home prices in Houston fall for the first time since 2020

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The pandemic has been a rollercoaster for Houston’s housing market. But just like the rest of us, the real estate market is now adjusting to what the Houston Association of Realtors claims to be its new normal.

Driving the news: While home sales in Houston were down from March 2021 and 2022, closings in March 2023 were higher than in March 2019, according to a new HAR report that examines how the market has evolved since the start of the pandemic.

The last: The median cost of a single-family home fell slightly last month from March 2022 — the first drop since spring 2020, per HAR.

  • Reality check: The median price fell 3% to $325,000 year-over-year, but was still significantly above the median price of $240,000 in March 2019.

To note : Slightly lower home prices have yet to translate into lower valuations. Earlier this month, the Harris Central Appraisal District said valuations have risen an average of 16% over the past year, by Houston Public Media.

What they say : “Houston real estate continues to return to normal with more new listings on the market and lower prices,” said HAR President Cathy Treviño.

  • “Inflation and interest rates are still causing anxiety, but once consumer confidence finally recovers, we’ll see home sales pick up and likely return to the seasonal cycles that prevailed before the pandemic.”

By the numbers: March marked the 12th consecutive month of declining home sales. Sales of single-family homes fell 18.3% year over year, with 7,907 units sold compared to 9,681 in March 2022.

  • Yes, but: Compared to March 2019, when 6,995 units were sold, sales increased by 13%.

Separately, Houstonians unsure when to list their home should consider this week, according to a Realtor.com report. But it could take longer to sell the house, as it now takes around 62 days to sell a house, compared to 38 days in March 2022.

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