Houston normally fares better than other cities during economic slowdowns and reversals. I’m not certain that this piece of news is relevant to Houston, but just in case:
Once-Sizzling Housing Market Cools Further
Median Sales Price Remains $211,000
— reported by Click2Houston.com
The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of previously owned homes dropped by 2.8 percent compared to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.56 million units, the slowest pace in two years.
Even with the slowdown in sales, home prices held steady with the median price in January at $211,000, unchanged from the December level.
Sales of both existing and new homes set records for the fifth straight year in 2005, but analysts believe that sales of existing homes will fall by around 5 percent this year as rising interest rates cut into demand.
The drop in sales of existing homes followed a 5 percent decline in sales of new homes in January as that segment of the market cooled as well. Both declines were bigger than expected and occurred even though the weather in January was the mildest in more than 100 years.
The South, which was battered by last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes, is seeing a rebound in some areas, helped by people looking for homes to replace ones damaged by the storms. The Realtors said that home sales in New Orleans were up 40 percent in January with Baton Rouge, La., Mobile, Ala., and Houston seeing big gains in home sales as well.
But for the country as a whole, Yun forecast that sales will probably decline by 5 percent from last year’s record pace of 7.075 million units.