Vicky Halfon
Realtor, ABR,GRI, CNE, CLHMS, SRES
First Market Realty

(713) 962-3405
713-962-3405
810 Highway 6 South, Suite 115
Houston, TX 77079
...
Vicky Halfon
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Bio

Vicky is a part of a great Team of Agents who are dedicated to providing outstanding Customer service which is demonstrated by the Company's Mission Statement: Fulfilling our Buyers and Sellers needs shall always be our primary concern. Working with a strong team, our Company will seek to provide professional services in a timely manner recognizing that the acquisition or sale of a home is not only a large financial decision, it is a very personal, and sometimes, emotional decision as well. Being sensitive to these factors will enable us to assist our clients in such a way that, ultimately, they will know that we care more about them than the real estate.

Fluent in English & Spanish
Skilled in Negotiating
Representation of Buyers and Sellers

My Blog

HOUSTON HOME SALES AND PRICES GAIN MOMENTUM IN MAY

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 11:29

HOUSTON HOME SALES AND PRICES GAIN MOMENTUM IN MAY HOUSTON — (June 12, 2019) — Encouraged by continued low interest rates and a growing selection of housing options, home buyers kept the greater Houston real estate market in positive territory for a fourth straight month in May. As it did in April, the luxury segment (homes priced at $750,000 and above) led the way in sales volume, and rental properties moved briskly. Housing inventory grew to its largest level since August 2017, meeting consumer demand as the market prepares to segue into summer. Sales of single-family homes increased 2.8 percent in May, according to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), with 8,346 homes sold compared to 8,117 in May 2018. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 2.7 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace. The prices of a single-family home reached historic highs in May. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.4 percent to $249,993 and the average price climbed 5.8 percent to $323,023. The last pricing highs were reached almost a year ago, in June 2018. May sales of all property types totaled 9,948, up 3.1 percent compared to the same month last year. Total dollar volume for the month jumped 7.8 percent to slightly more than $3 billion. “We are seeing signs of a healthy and sustainable housing market throughout greater Houston, and that is due to a more plentiful supply of homes, continued low interest rates and a strong local economy,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “In addition to solid home sales, consumers are still snapping up rental properties, and that is also driving the local housing market.” Lease Property Update The rental market experienced double-digit gains in May. Leases of single-family homes jumped 11.1 percent compared to a year earlier while leases of townhomes and condominiums surged 19.3 percent. The average rent for a single-family home rose 1.6 percent to $1,874 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 5.6 percent to $1,666. May Monthly Market Comparison The Houston real estate market registered across-the-board gains in May. Single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing were all up compared to May 2018. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 9,169, a 10.6 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, went up 10.1 percent to 43,624. Single-family homes inventory grew to a 4.2-months supply in May. That is up from 3.9 months a year earlier and marks the greatest supply of homes since August of 2017. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. also currently stands at a 4.2-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Single-Family Homes Update May marked the fourth consecutive month of positive single-family home sales across greater Houston, with 8,346 units sold versus 8,117 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are running 2.7 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace. Prices climbed to the highest levels of all time. The median price increased 2.4 percent to $249,993. The average price rose 5.8 percent to $323,023. These prices surpassed the last record highs that were reached back in June 2018. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, held steady at 53 days. Inventory expanded to a 4.2-months supply. That is up from 3.9 months a year earlier and represents the greatest supply of homes in almost two years (August 2017). It matches the national inventory of 4.2 months reported by NAR. Broken out by housing segment, May sales performed as follows: $1 – $99,999: decreased 9.9 percent $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 19.0 percent $150,000 – $249,999: increased 2.9 percent $250,000 – $499,999: increased 5.8 percent $500,000 – $749,999: increased 6.3 percent $750,000 and above: increased 17.6 percent HAR also breaks out sales activity for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 7,202 in May, up 6.7 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 6.7 percent to $316,945 while the median sales price increased 4.1 percent to $240,550. Townhouse/Condominium Update Townhouse and condominium sales have faced a challenging 2019, with declines every month except April when they eked out a 0.5 percent gain. In May, 648 townhouses and condominiums sold, down 2.6 percent from a year earlier when 665 units sold. The average price fell 2.3 percent to $209,497 while the median price declined a fractional 0.6 percent to $169,000. Inventory grew from a 4.1-months supply to 4.6 months.   Houston Real Estate Highlights in May Single-family home sales rose 2.8 percent year-over-year, with 8,346 units sold, marking the fourth consecutive month of positive sales; On a year-to-date basis, single-family home sales are 2.7 percent ahead of 2018’s record pace; Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes was flat at 53 days; Total property sales increased 3.1 percent, with 9,948 units sold; Total dollar volume jumped 7.8 percent to slightly more than $3 billion; The single-family Houston home sale median price rose 2.4 percent to $249,993, achieving an all-time high; The single-family home average price was up 5.8 percent to $323,023 – also a record high; Single-family homes months of inventory reached a 4.2-months supply, up from 3.9 months last May and the most plentiful level since August 2017. For comparison, the national inventory is also at a 4.2-months supply, according to NAR; After a fractional sales gain in April, townhome/condominium sales fell 2.6 percent with 648 units sold. The average price was down 2.3 percent to $209,497 and the median price fell a fractional 0.6 percent to $169,000; Single-family home rentals rose 11.1 percent with the average rent up 1.6 percent to $1,874; Volume of townhome/condominium leases surged 19.3 percent with the average rent up 5.6 percent to $1,666. If you are interested in buying or selling your home, please contact Vicky Halfon at vhalfon@aol.com or call (713) 962-3405. The post HOUSTON HOME SALES AND PRICES GAIN MOMENTUM IN MAY appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

iBuyers – Convenient at a Price

Friday, 17 May 2019 10:06

iBuyers – Convenient at a Price There is an increasing number of real estate companies, termed iBuyers, like Open Door, Zillow and Knock. They market a service called Convenient at a Price. It appeals to homeowners.  The pitch for these quick cash offer companies will include some variation of “let us buy your home in days without the normal hassles of listing.” The approach attempts to provide an alternative to selling a home in a normal manner. However, it might have an expense of not realizing the full equity a homeowner is entitled. Above all, there is no fiduciary relationship that requires the broker to put a seller’s best interest above their own interest.   An iBuyer does not represent a seller. It does not owe client-level services like loyalty and obedience disclosure required by most state license laws. The offer is based on an automated valuation model, many times, without a physical inspection of the home.  In some cases, a contract is written but there are provisions that allow iBuyers time to possibly “flip” the property to an investor.  Occasionally they use an “out” in the contract to void the sale. The reality is that a company cannot stay in business if they pay too much for the property.  The iBuyer becomes the Seller who now must be concerned with pricing the home properly. They cover the normal selling expenses.  Additionally they cover the repairs, improvements, and holding costs that could incur until the property sells. There could be circumstances that make it necessary for a homeowner to sell their home at a discount.  For instance, the seller could be in a distressed situation needing immediate cash.  They might need a quick sale and don’t want to bother with repairs or marketing efforts.  Or possibly, they may have found their next home  and need to act quickly. The instant liquidity comes at a cost to the seller in lower proceeds from the sale. To realize the maximum possible equity, a real estate professional in your area can advise you about the fair market value of your home. They will also provide a reasonably expected sales price, the costs involved and how long it will take.   In conclusion, you owe it to yourself and your family to find out what you can expect if you take a conventional sales route. Written by: BetterHomeowners.com/TimBurrell If you are buying or selling a property, please contact Vicky Halfon with First Market Realty, Inc at (713) 962-3405 or visit my website at vickyhalfon.com . The post iBuyers – Convenient at a Price appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

Tree Dangers

Friday, 26 April 2019 09:13

Tree Dangers Although trees are generally a desirable feature of home landscaping, they can pose a threat to buildings in a number of different ways. Inspectors may want to educate themselves about tree dangers so that they can inform their clients about potentially dangerous situations. Tree Roots and Foundations Contrary to popular belief, InterNACHI has found that tree roots cannot normally pierce through a building’s foundation. They can, however, damage a foundation in the following ways: Roots can sometimes penetrate a building’s foundation through pre-existing cracks.  Large root systems that extend beneath a house can cause foundation uplift.Roots can leech water from the soil beneath foundations, causing the structures to settle and sink unevenly. Other Tree Dangers: Trees that are too close to buildings may be fire hazards. Soffit vents provide easy access for flames to enter a house.Leaves and broken branches can clog gutters, potentially causing ice dams or water penetration into the building.Old, damaged or otherwise weak trees may fall and endanger lives and property. Large, weak branches, too, are a hazard, especially if weighed down by ice. Tree roots can potentially penetrate underground drainage pipes, especially when they leak. Water that leaks from a drainage or sanitary pipe can encourage root growth in the direction of the leak, where the roots may eventually enter the pipe and obstruct its flow. Trees may be used by insects and rodents to gain access to the building. Falling trees and branches can topple power lines and communication lines. Structural Defects in Trees  Trees with structural defects likely to cause failure to all or part of a tree can damage nearby buildings. The following are indications that a tree has a structural defect: dead twigs, dead branches, or small, off-color leaves;species-specific defects. Some species of maple, ash and pear often form weak branch unions. Some other fast-growing species of maple, aspen, ailanthus and willow are weak-wooded and prone to breakage at a relatively young age;cankers are localized areas on branches or stems of a tree where the bark is sunken or missing. Cankers are caused by wounding or disease. The presence of a canker increases the chance that the stem will break near the canker. A tree with a canker that encompasses more than half of the tree’s circumference may be hazardous even if the exposed wood appears healthy;hollowed trunks;Advanced decay (wood that is soft, punky or crumbly, or a cavity where the wood is missing) can create a serious hazard. Evidence of fungal activity, such as mushrooms, conks and brackets growing on root flares, stems or branches are indications of advanced decay. A tree usually decays from the inside out, eventually forming a cavity, but sound wood is also added to the outside of the tree as it grows. Trees with sound outer wood shells may be relatively safe, but this depends on the ratio of sound-to-decayed wood, and other defects that might be present; cracks, which are deep splits through the bark, extending into the wood of the tree. Cracks are very dangerous because they indicate that the tree is presently failing;V-shaped forks. Elm, oak, maple, yellow poplar and willow are especially prone to breakage at weak forks;The tree leans at more than 15 degrees from vertical. Generally, remove trees bent to this degree if they pose a danger. Trees that grow in a leaning orientation are not as hazardous as trees that were originally straight but subsequently developed a lean due to wind or root damage. Large trees that have tipped in intense winds seldom recover. The general growth-form of the tree and any uplifted soil on the side of the tree opposite the lean provide clues as to when the lean developed. Tips for tree dangers that inspectors can pass on to their clients: Binoculars are helpful for examining the higher portions of tall trees for damage. When planting trees, they should be kept far from the house. It is impossible for the homeowner to reliably predict how far the roots will spread, and trees that are too close to a building may be a fire hazard. Do not damage roots. In addition to providing nutrition for the tree, roots anchor the tree to the ground. Trees with damaged roots are more likely to lean and topple than trees with healthy roots. Vehicles are capable of damaging a tree’s root system.Remove dead trees within the range of a house. If they are not removed, the small twigs will fall first, followed by the larger branches, and eventually the trunk. This process can take several years.Inspect your trees periodically for hazards, especially in large, old trees. Inspect every tree likely to have a problem from bottom to top. Look for signs of decay and continue up the trunk toward the crown, noting anything that might indicate a potential hazard. In summary, trees that are too close to buildings can potentially cause structural damage. by Nick Gromicko If you are buying or selling real estate, please contact Vicky Halfon at vhalfon@aol.com or 713-962-3405 . The post Tree Dangers appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET BLOSSOMS IN MARCH

Monday, 15 April 2019 09:52

Demand for rental properties remains strong; inventory reaches a five-month high HOUSTON — (April 10, 2019) — The Houston housing market blossoms in March. Lower interest rates pushed fence-sitters into buying mode as single-family home sales rose nearly five percent in March compared to a year earlier. The strongest sales activity was recorded among homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000, followed closely by the luxury segment ($750,000 and above). Once again, renters placed strong demand on single-family and townhome/condo leases across greater Houston. Housing inventory expanded to its highest level in five months, laying fertile ground for consumers as we move further into the spring buying season. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), sales of single-family homes increased 4.9 percent in March, with 7,072 homes sold versus 6,740 in March of 2018. Home sales edged up slightly in February following three consecutive months of declines. Prices of single-family homes reached record highs for a March. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.1 percent to $240,000 and the average price was up 2.0 percent at $298,766. March sales of all property types totaled 8,475, up 3.6 compared to the same month last year in the Houston housing market. Total dollar volume for the month jumped 5.7 percent to $2.4 billion. “Home sales are benefitting from some of the lowest interest rates in years, but we also continue to see tremendous strength in the rental segment, and with inventory growing steadily, the Houston real estate market looks solid,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “We are also encouraged by the Texas Workforce Commission’s latest report about a 2.4-percent increase in employment across metro Houston over the past year, which bodes well for housing.” Lease Property Update Consumer demand for lease properties was up dramatically again in March compared to a year prior. Single-family home rentals shot up 18.4 percent while rentals of townhomes and condominiums jumped 16.7 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was flat at $1,746 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums rose 2.0 percent to $1,530. March Monthly Market Comparison The Houston real estate market registered across-the-board gains in March. Single-family home sales, total property sales, total dollar volume and pricing were all up compared to March 2018. Month-end pending sales of single-family homes totaled 8,740, a 14.6 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 17.5 percent to 41,127. March Monthly Market Comparison Single-family homes inventory reached a 3.9-months supply in March. That is up from 3.3 months a year earlier and marks the greatest supply of homes since October 2018. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. is currently at a 3.5-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Single-Family Homes Update Single-family home sales climbed 4.9 percent in March, with 7,072 units sold across the greater Houston area versus 6,740 a year earlier. This marks the second consecutive month of positive sales activity. A small increase in February (1.4 percent) reversed three straight months of declines. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a March. The median price increased 2.1 percent to $240,000. The average price rose 2.0 percent to $298,766. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, was unchanged at 64 days. Inventory grew to a 3.9-months supply. That is up from 3.3 months a year earlier and represents the greatest supply since October 2018. It is also slightly above the national inventory of 3.5 months reported by NAR. Broken out by housing segment, March sales performed as follows: $1 – $99,999: decreased 5.9 percent$100,000 – $149,999: decreased 17.7 percent$150,000 – $249,999: increased 5.4 percent$250,000 – $499,999: increased 9.8 percent$500,000 – $749,999: unchanged$750,000 and above: increased 9.0 percent HAR also monitors sales activity among existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 5,676 in March, up 5.2 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 2.7 percent to $286,868 while the median sales price rose 2.3 percent to $225,000. Townhouse/Condominium Update Townhomes and condominiums remain a challenged segment of the Houston housing market. March brought the seventh straight month of declining sales, down 9.2 percent, with 551 units sold compared to 607 a year earlier. The average price was statistically flat at $211,241 while the median price rose 2.8 percent to $174,750. Inventory grew from a 3.6-months supply to 4.4 months. Houston Real Estate Highlights in March Single-family home sales rose 4.9 percent year-over-year, with 7,072 units sold, marking the second consecutive month of positive sales;Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes remained unchanged at 64;Total property sales increased 3.6 percent, with 8,475 units sold;Total dollar volume jumped 5.7 percent to $2.4 billion;The single-family home median price rose 2.1 percent to $240,000, achieving a March high;The single-family home average price was up 2.0 percent to a March high of $298,766;Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 3.9-months supply, up from 3.3 months last March and at its most plentiful level since October 2018. For comparison, the national inventory is at a 3.5-months supply, according to NAR;Townhome/condominium sales fell for a seventh straight month – down 9.2 percent, with the average price flat at $211,241 and the median price up 2.8 percent to $174,750;Lease properties staged another strong performance as single-family home rentals shot up 18.4 percent with the average rent unchanged at $1,746;Volume of townhome/condominium leases surged 16.7 percent with the average rent up 2.0 percent to $1,530 I am happy to create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for you and estimate the value of your current home. Please fill out the information in the form below and I will send you a free evaluation report. https://web.har.com/aws/disphomeworth.cfm?siteType=har&cid=507461 The post THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET BLOSSOMS IN MARCH appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

HOUSTON HOME RENTALS SOAR IN FEBRUARY WHILE SALES RECOVER

Thursday, 28 March 2019 10:23

HOUSTON — (March 13, 2019) — After a generally mixed performance in January, the Houston housing market showed considerably more vitality in February, particularly among rental properties. Unlike January, which brought declining sales across all pricing segments, sales last month rose among homes priced between $150,000 and $750,000, with the high end of that range performing best. Inventory continued to grow, generating an improved supply of homes for consumers as the spring buying season gets underway. According to the newest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), sales of single-family homes were statistically flat in February, with 5,280 homes sold compared to 5,265 a year earlier, marking the end of three straight months of declines. Single-family home prices achieved record highs for a February. The median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 2.9 percent to $232,900 and the average price increased 1.9 percent to $286,156. Sales of all property types totaled 6,388, also statistically flat when compared to last February’s tally of 6,368 Total dollar volume for the month rose 3.1 percent to $1.76 billion. “The Houston real estate market seems to be emerging from the winter doldrums with improvement in sales volume and an exceptionally strong performance among rental properties in February,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “This suggests that many consumers are opting to rent until they find the right home at the right price at the right interest rate to buy.” Lease Property UpdateConsumers kept the rental market buzzing in February. Single-family home rentals soared 26.5 percent while rentals of townhomes and condominiums shot up 27.1 percent. The average rent for single-family homes edged up 0.8 percent to $1,733 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums rose 1.9 percent to $1,548. February Monthly Market ComparisonFebruary’s statistical readings for the Houston real estate market were in the black in all categories. Single-family home prices and total dollar volume rose while single-family home sales and total property sales were flat compared to February 2018. Month-end pending sales totaled 7,310, a 15.4 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 17.4 percent to 39,304.Single-family homes inventory reached a 3.7-months supply in February, up from a 3.1-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 3.9-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Single-Family Homes UpdateSingle-family home sales were statistically unchanged in February, with 5,280 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 5,265 a year earlier. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a February. The median price increased 2.9 percent to $232,900. The average price rose 1.9 percent to $286,156. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, lengthened slightly from 66 to 68 days. Inventory registered a 3.7-months supply. That is up from 3.1 months a year earlier and is slightly below the current national inventory level of 3.9 months reported by NAR. Broken out by housing segment, February sales performed as follows: $1 – $99,999: decreased 21.8 percent$100,000 – $149,999: decreased 16.0 percent$150,000 – $249,999: increased 3.7 percent$250,000 – $499,999: increased 5.5 percent$500,000 – $749,999: increased 7.5 percent$750,000 and above: decreased 8.9 percent HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,265 in February, down 1.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 2.7 percent to $273,757 while the median sales price rose 1.8 percent to $217,500. Townhouse/Condominium UpdateTownhome and condominium sales tumbled for a sixth straight month, dropping 7.6 percent versus February 2018, with 425 units sold compared to 460 a year earlier. The average price fell 11.9 percent to $186,859 while the median price dropped 11.8 percent to $150,000. Inventory grew from a 3.5-months supply to 4.2 months. The post HOUSTON HOME RENTALS SOAR IN FEBRUARY WHILE SALES RECOVER appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

How to Mulch

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 10:54

How to Mulch Mulching your garden is like flossing your teeth — preventative, tedious, and vital to health. Luckily, you don’t have to mulch after every meal. But you should blanket your garden beds at least twice a year — in early spring and late fall — to retain moisture and keep down weeds. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to mulch correctly. How Much Is Enough? If you’re a numbers geek, try this method: To determine how much mulch you’ll need, multiply the length and width of your garden space (in feet) by the mulch height (about 3 inches, or a quarter of a foot) to get total cubic feet. Bagged mulch is sold by the cubic foot. To figure the number of bags, divide total cubic feet by the number of cubic feet in each bag. Bulk mulch is sold by the yard. To figure the number of yards, divide the total cubic feet by27 (there are 27 cubic feet to 1 cubic yard). If all that makes you want to pull out your hair, just use one of these easy mulch calculators: Mulch Calculator helps you determine how many bags of mulch you need for your project. Colorbiotics Mulch Tool (iPhone, iPad: free): Not only calculates how many cubic yards or bags of mulch you need, it also helps you pick the mulch color that looks best around your house. Material Calculator (Droid: $1.99): Calculates how much mulch — and sand, gravel, stone dust, topsoil — you need, and converts from English to metric units. Bags or Bulk? It depends on what’s more valuable to you — time or money. If you want to save money, then bulk is the way to go. In Virginia, for instance, shredded hardwood mulch in bags costs about $50 per cubic yard; bulk is $30 per cubic yard — about a 40% savings. Also, delivering bulk mulch, where trucks just dump and run, is about 25% less expensive than delivering bags, which someone has to drag and stack. If you want to save time, mulch by the bag is for you. Bags are easy to carry to and spread on garden beds. Just rip and dump.Extra bags are easily stacked and stored.You don’t have to sweep up after a bag delivery; you will after a bulk delivery. Spreading the Wealth Spreading mulch isn’t a NASA launch: Precision is not required, says Kevin Warhurst of Merrifield Garden Center in Virginia. But you must follow a few guidelines. 1. Pile on 2 to 4 inches of mulch. If you mulch regularly, and several inches have built up, add only 1 inch as top dressing, or remove all mulch, and start fresh. Too much mulch can trap moisture and cause rot, or prevent water from reaching roots. 2. Never pile mulch next to a tree or shrub trunk, which can cause wood rot and foster insect and fungus problems. 3. Get rid of weeds. Put down a pre-emergent herbicide, newspaper, or landscaping paper before mulching. 4. Spread mulch by hand, which gives beds a neat and finished look. If you must use a tool, use a pitchfork, good for moving mulch into and out of the wheelbarrow. Move the tool side to side to even out mulch. Or, use the back of a steel rake to smooth out the mulch. (Tip: Use a snow shovel to move bulk mulch from pile to wheelbarrow.) 5. Never leave mulch on lower branches and leaves, a telltale sign of careless work. Want Free Mulch? Learn how to mulch leaves that overwinter on your lawn and pile up during fall. Leaves make an excellent garden mulch, or rig your mower for mulching and chew them up to feed your lawn. By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon Do you have real estate questions?   Contact Vicky Halfon at (713) 962-3405 or vhalfon@aol.com . The post How to Mulch appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

HOUSTON’S HOUSING MARKET COOLS IN JANUARY

Thursday, 28 February 2019 12:52

HOUSTON — (February 13, 2019) — Fresh on the heels of a record-breaking 2018, home sales across greater Houston began the new year at a dramatically slower pace. Sales volume fell in all pricing segments in January, including the luxury home market, which saw its first decline in 12 months. However, rental activity was strong, and inventory levels continued expanding, providing consumers with more choices in the lead-up to the traditionally busy spring buying season.According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), 4,100 single-family homes sold in January compared to 4,462 a year earlier. That represents an 8.1 percent decline – the third straight month of falling sales.The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) edged up 1.4 percent to $222,000 and the average price rose 2.4 percent to $277,483. Those are the highest prices ever for a January.Sales of all property types totaled 5,011, down 8.4 percent from January 2018. Total dollar volume for the month fell 4.4 percent to slightly more than $1.3 billion.“January appears to have delivered a perfect economic storm of sorts, with some consumers focused on paying off holiday credit card bills, others concerned about the recent bump in mortgage rates and still others that may have felt the squeeze from the partial government shutdown,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “We are encouraged by the strong performance among rental properties, and I believe that as inventory levels continue to grow, more buyers will return to the market.”Lease Property UpdateConsumers that weren’t buying homes were renting properties at volumes not seen since November 2017. January single-family home rentals shot up 16.5 percent while rentals of townhomes and condominiums jumped 16.4 percent. The average rent for single-family homes edged up 0.4 percent to $1,755 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums dipped 0.8 percent to $1,504.January Monthly Market ComparisonJanuary indicators for the Houston real estate market were mixed, with single-family home sales, total property sales and total dollar volume all down compared to January 2018. Pricing levels, however, rose to January highs. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,528, a 12.0 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, climbed 16.8 percent to 38,872.   Single-family homes inventory recorded a 3.7-months supply in January, up from a 3.2-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. also stands at a 3.7-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Single-Family Homes UpdateSingle-family home sales fell 8.1 percent in January with 4,100 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 4,462 a year earlier. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a January. The median price increased 1.4 percent to $222,000. The average price rose 2.4 percent to $277,483.   Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, narrowed from 68 to 65 days. Inventory registered a 3.7-months supply. That is up from 3.2 months a year earlier and matches the current national inventory level reported by NAR.Broken out by housing segment, January sales performed as follows:• $1 – $99,999: decreased 13.9 percent• $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 24.7 percent• $150,000 – $249,999: decreased 3.5 percent• $250,000 – $499,999: decreased 7.4 percent• $500,000 – $749,999: decreased 4.1 percent• $750,000 and above: decreased 4.2 percent  HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 3,391 in January, down 7.8 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 2.2 percent to $262,719 while the median sales price rose 2.6 percent to $210,000.Townhouse/Condominium UpdateSales of townhomes and condominiums fell for a fifth consecutive month, dropping 10.5 percent versus January 2018, with 324 units sold compared to 362 one year prior. The average price declined 2.3 percent to $188,268 while the median price slid 2.8 percent to $154,250. Inventory grew from a 3.4-months supply to 4.1 months.  The post HOUSTON’S HOUSING MARKET COOLS IN JANUARY appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET BREAKS RECORDS IN 2018

Monday, 14 January 2019 07:58

The Houston real estate market set new records in 2018 despite uncertainty across the region when the year began, with many survivors of Hurricane Harvey still rebuilding their homes and lives. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed 2017’s record volume by nearly four percent. However, as 2019 gets underway, housing inventory remains constrained – still sitting below its more balanced pre-Harvey levels. According to the Houston Association of Realtors’ (HAR) 2018 annual report, single family home sales rose 3.8 percent to 82,177 while sales of all property types totaled 98,323, a 3.7-percent increase over 2017’s record volume. Total dollar volume for full-year 2018 jumped 21.5 percent to a record-breaking $28 billion. “We entered 2018 cautiously optimistic that the Houston real estate market would continue the resilience it showed after Hurricane Harvey, but no one that I know anticipated it being a record year,” said HAR Chair Shannon Cobb Evans with Heritage Texas Properties. “Now, as we look ahead to the new year, federal workers are on edge about the ongoing government shutdown and how that might hurt their cash flow, which could affect housing. And our market is still challenged in terms of housing inventory, which is something that truly needs to improve in 2019 to ensure that real estate remains a vibrant player in the overall Houston economy.” December single-family home sales fell 4.1 percent to 6,543 versus December 2017. Only two housing segments saw positive sales activity, with the strongest taking place in the luxury market – that is, homes priced from $750,000 and up. Total property sales for the month declined 4.6 percent to 7,709. The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose 3.4 percent to $240,000. That marks the highest median price ever for a December. The average price increased 4.7 percent to $306,314, which is also an all-time December high. 2018 Annual Market Comparison As 2018 began, Houston’s overall economic landscape showed a gradual return to normalcy, with many Harvey-battered properties coming back online or being demolished and rebuilt altogether, and the resumption of hiring in a variety of industry sectors. Throughout the year, those employment trends contributed to an influx of home buyers and renters to the Houston area from across the country and around the world. When HAR issued its August and September home sales reports, the association cautioned that much of the data was distorted because it compared to the period in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey struck and effectively halted real estate activity for the last week or so of August. Once transactions resumed during the early to middle part of September, the volume was unusually high. This created an exaggerated sales increase for August 2018 and, conversely, an exaggerated decline for September 2018. Housing inventory grew to its highest levels – between a 4.0- and 4.1-months supply – from June through September, but by year’s end, had retreated to a 3.5-months supply as consumers grabbed available properties. Months of inventory estimates the number of months it will take to deplete current active inventory based on the prior 12 months sales activity. By the time the final December sales numbers were tallied, a record 82,177 single-family homes had sold during 2018. That represents an increase of 3.8 percent from the previous record of 79,143 in 2017. On a year-to-date basis, the average price rose 2.6 percent to $298,982 while the median price increased 3.3 percent to $237,500. Total dollar volume for full-year 2018 surged 21.5 percent to a record-setting $28 billion. December Monthly Market Comparison The Houston housing market generated mixed results in December, with single-family home sales and total property sales down, but total dollar volume and pricing all up compared to December 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 5,120, an increase of 2.2 percent versus 2017. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, jumped 13.3 percent from December 2017 to 37,554. Single-family homes inventory grew slightly from a 3.2-months supply to 3.5 months. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. currently stands at a 3.9-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). December Single-Family Homes Update Single-family home sales totaled 6,543, down 4.1 percent from December 2017. The median price rose 3.4 percent to a December high of $240,000. The average price increased 4.7 percent to $306,314. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, rose from 63 to 64. Broken out by housing segment, December sales performed as follows: $1 – $99,999: decreased 31.0 percent$100,000 – $149,999: decreased 27.5 percent$150,000 – $249,999: decreased 1.9 percent$250,000 – $499,999: increased 1.4 percent$500,000 – $749,999: decreased 7.4 percent$750,000 and above: increased 20.0 percent HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,975 in December, down 7.1 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.8 percent to $292,244 while the median sales price increased 3.8 percent to $220,000. Townhouse/Condominium Update Townhome and condominium sales also took a hit in December, falling 7.8 percent, with 506 units selling versus 549 a year earlier. The average price rose 4.6 percent to $206,760 and the median price jumped 8.1 percent to $169,500. Inventory grew from a 3.2-months supply to 3.8 months. Lease Property Update Houston’s lease market had a positive performance in December. Single-family home leases climbed 13.2 percent and townhome/condominium leases edged up 1.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes was flat at $1,771 and the average rent for townhomes/condominiums was also flat at $1,532. Houston Real Estate Highlights for December and Full-Year 2018 Despite uncertainties amid Houston’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Harvey, 2018 proved to be a record year for Houston home sales with 82,177 single-family homes sold versus 79,143 in 2017, the last record-setting year. That represents an increase of 3.8 percentTotal dollar volume for full-year 2018 soared 21.5 percent to $28 billion;December single-family home sales declined 4.1 percent year-over-year with 6,543 units sold;Total December property sales fell 4.6 percent to 7,709 units;Total dollar volume for December edged up 1.0 percent to $2.3 billion;At $240,000, the single-family home median price rose 3.4 percent to a December high;The single-family home average price climbed 4.7 percent to a December high of $306,314;Single-family homes months of inventory grew slightly to a 3.5-months supply;Townhome/condominium sales fell 7.8 percent, with the average price up 4.6 percent to $206,760 and the median price up 8.1 percent to $169,500;Leases of single-family homes shot up 13.2 percent with average rent unchanged at $1,771;Leases of townhomes/condominiums edged up 1.6 percent with average also unchanged at $1,532. The post THE HOUSTON HOUSING MARKET BREAKS RECORDS IN 2018 appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE IS ON TRACK FOR ANOTHER RECORD YEAR

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 11:39

HOUSTON — (December 12, 2018) — In a display of textbook seasonality, with the holidays sending consumers into their annual retail frenzy, Houston home sales slowed slightly in November. However, it was not enough to knock the real estate market off its record-setting pace. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of Realtors® (HAR), 6,159 single-family homes sold in November compared to 6,285 a year earlier, representing a 2.0-percent decline. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 4.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record volume. Inventory edged up from a 3.6-months supply to 3.9 months. The median price of a single-family home (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half for less) rose 4.4 percent to $235,000 and the average price increased 4.3 percent to $295,084. Both represent the highest prices ever for a November. All housing segments experienced gains except for homes priced at $150,000 and below The best-performing segment was the luxury market, consisting of homes priced at $750,000 and above, which climbed 12.3 percent. Sales of all property types totaled 7,400 – statistically flat versus last year. November’s total dollar volume increased 3.9 percent to $2.1 billion. “The Houston housing market remains on track for another record year, which was an almost unimaginable concept when the year began, on the heels of so much devastation from Hurricane Harvey,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “As 2018 draws to a close, we see slow but steady growth in the supply of housing as well as a strong job market, which together make for a healthy real estate climate.”  Lease Property Update Consumers kept Houston’s lease market humming in November. Single-family home rentals soared 15.3 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums rose 0.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes declined 1.3 percent to $1,743 while the average rent for townhomes and condominiums edged up 0.5 percent to $1,505. November Monthly Market Comparison The Houston real estate market had a largely positive performance in November and remains on track to set new sales records when the books are closed on 2018. As consumers turned their attention to holiday shopping, single-family home sales fell slightly and total property sales were statistically flat compared to November 2017; total dollar volume and pricing were up. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 6,052, which represents a 5.8 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, climbed 8.9 percent to 40,530. Single-family homes inventory saw some growth in November, reaching a 3.9-months supply versus a 3.6-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory nationally stands at a 4.3-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Single-Family Homes Update Sales of single-family homes declined 2.0 percent in November, as 6,159 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 6,285 a year earlier. However, on a year-to-date basis, sales volume is running 4.6 percent ahead of 2017’s record pace and is expected to remain in record territory as we close out 2018. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a November. The median price increased 4.4 percent to $235,000 while the average price rose 4.3 percent to $295,084. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, improved to 60 from 62 a year earlier. Inventory registered a 3.9-months supply, up slightly from 3.6 months a year ago. Broken out by housing segment, November sales performed as follows: $1 – $99,999: decreased 25.3 percent$100,000 – $149,999: decreased 24.3 percent$150,000 – $249,999: increased 2.3 percent$250,000 – $499,999: increased 7.2 percent$500,000 – $749,999: increased 1.9 percent$750,000 and above: increased 12.3 percent HAR also breaks out sales data for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 4,945 in November, a decline of 3.2 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price rose 5.7 percent to $283,523 while the median sales price increased 3.1 percent to $218,000. Townhouse/Condominium Update November saw a drop of 2.8 percent in townhome and condominium sales, with 488 units sold versus 502 a year earlier. The average price rose 9.0 percent to $213,043 and the median price increased 4.5 percent to $165,000. Inventory grew from a 3.7-months supply to 4.1 months. Houston Real Estate Highlights in November Single-family home sales fell 2.0 percent year-over-year, with 6,159 units sold;On a year-to-date basis, home sales are up 4.6 percent and on track for breaking 2017’s record performance when December data are compiled;Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes was 60 versus 62 a year earlier;Total property sales were statistically flat, with 7,400 units sold;Total dollar volume rose 3.9 percent to $2.1 billion;The single-family home median price climbed 4.4 percent to $235,000, a November high;The single-family home average price also achieved a November record, rising 4.3 percent to $295,084;Single-family homes months of inventory reached a 3.9-months supply, up from 3.6 months last November, but below the national supply of 4.3 months reported by NAR;Townhome/condominium sales dropped 2.8 percent, with the average price up 9.0 percent to $213,043 and the median price up 4.5 percent to $165,000;Leases of single-family homes jumped 15.3 percent with the average rent down 1.3 percent to $1,743;Volume of townhome/condominium leases rose 0.6 percent with the average rent up 0.5 percent to $1,505. The post HOUSTON REAL ESTATE IS ON TRACK FOR ANOTHER RECORD YEAR appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

HOUSTON REAL ESTATE STAYS HOT IN JULY

Friday, 10 August 2018 08:38

HOUSTON — (August 8, 2018) —Houston home sales showed no let-up in July, but the pace was not enough to rival the record-setting volume and pricing set in June. Inventory remained constrained at a 4.2-months supply, and the lease market saw waning consumer interest. According to the latest monthly report from the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), 8,108 single-family homes sold in July compared to 7,433 a year earlier, accounting for a 9.1-percent increase. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are running 3.4 percent ahead of 2017’s record volume. The single-family home median price (the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less) rose nearly six percent to $243,500, and the average price increased 2.4 percent to $305,910. Both represent the highest figures ever for a July. The strongest segment of the market consisted of homes priced in the $250,000 to $499,999 range, which shot up 21.0 percent. The luxury market – homes priced at $750,000 and above – rose 6.3 percent. “Consumers are keeping the Houston housing market one of the most vibrant in the U.S., despite low inventory and concerns about affordability,” said HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer with JPMorgan Chase. “Much of that is reflective of a healthy job market that continues to draw new hires to Houston from across the country and around the world.” In its July 24 Employment Update, the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) reported that for the 12 months ending June 2018, metro Houston created 94,600 jobs – a 3.1 percent increase and significant jump from the 81,200 jobs created in the 12 months ending May 2018. July sales of all property types totaled 9,559, an 8.5-percent increase over the same month last year. Total dollar volume was up 11.4 percent, reaching nearly $2.8 billion. Lease Property Update Consumer interest among lease properties slowed in July. Single-family home rentals declined 1.9 percent while leases of townhomes and condominiums were down 6.6 percent. The average rent for single-family homes rose 5.6 percent to $1,916 and the average rent for townhomes and condominiums increased 7.7 percent to $1,666. July Monthly Market Comparison Measurements of the Houston real estate market’s July trends were largely positive, with single-family home sales, total property sales, pricing and total dollar volume all up compared to July 2017. Month-end pending sales for single-family homes totaled 8,467, an 18.2 percent increase over last year. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties, fell 3.5 percent to 41,459. Single-family homes inventory remains constrained, reaching a 4.2-months supply in July, which is down fractionally from the 4.3-months supply a year earlier. For perspective, housing inventory across the U.S. stands at a 4.3-months supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Single-Family Homes Update Sales of single-family homes jumped 9.1 percent in July, with 8,108 units sold across the greater Houston area compared to 7,433 a year earlier. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are 3.4 percent ahead of 2017’s record pace. Prices reached the highest levels ever for a July. The median price increased 5.9 percent to $243,500. The average price rose 2.4 percent to $305,910. Days on Market (DOM), or the number of days it took the average home to sell, held steady at 48 days. Inventory registered a 4.2-months supply, down slightly from 4.3 months a year ago, but still at the highest level since August 2017. Broken out by housing segment, July sales performed as follows: $1 – $99,999: decreased 12.2 percent $100,000 – $149,999: decreased 22.2 percent $150,000 – $249,999: increased 9.5 percent $250,000 – $499,999: increased 21.0 percent $500,000 – $749,999: increased 15.1 percent $750,000 and above: increased 6.3 percent HAR also breaks out the sales figures for existing single-family homes. Existing home sales totaled 6,902 in July, an increase of 9.0 percent versus the same month last year. The average sales price increased 3.7 percent to $297,606 while the median sales price jumped 6.0 percent to $233,000. Townhouse/Condominium Update Townhomes and condominiums registered a strong month in July, as sales rose 6.1 percent with 612 units sold versus 577 a year earlier. The average price increased 6.9 percent to $215,110 and the median price climbed 9.3 percent to $165,000. Inventory shrank slightly from a 4.5-months supply to 4.3 months. Houston Real Estate Highlights in July Single-family home sales rose 9.1 percent year-over-year, with 8,108 units sold; Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes remained unchanged at 48 days; Total property sales increased 8.5 percent, with 9,559 units sold; Total dollar volume jumped 11.4 percent to nearly $2.8 billion; The single-family home median price rose 5.9 percent to $243,500, reaching a July high; The single-family home average price also achieved a July record, rising 2.4 percent to $305,910; Single-family homes months of inventory was at a 4.2-months supply, down fractionally from 4.3 months last July, but nonetheless at the highest level since August 2017; Townhome/condominium sales rose 6.1 percent, with the average price up 6.9 percent to $215,110 and the median price up 9.3 percent to $165,000; Leases of single-family homes fell 1.9 percent with the average rent up 5.6 percent to $1,916; Volume of townhome/condominium leases dropped 6.6 percent with the average rent up 7.7 percent to $1,666. The post HOUSTON REAL ESTATE STAYS HOT IN JULY appeared first on Vicky Halfon | First Market Realty.

 

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