August was a rough month for Houston’s housing market, just like every other aspect of Houston life. Hurricane Harvey’s swathe of destruction dealt a major blow to our housing market, which had been on track to set new records.
With banks and other businesses shuttered due to the storm and flooding, many planned closings didn’t take place, even in the lucky cases where the property being sold didn’t flood.
Unfortunately, many properties that were under contract were badly damaged and sellers understandably backed out, leaving sellers with a flooded house on their hands and themselves without a place to move.
Single-family home sales plummeted 25.4% in August, the first decline in nearly a year. Every segment of the housing market suffered in August, but despite the Harvey-related dip in the market, year-to-date sales remain 1.8% over 2016 sales volume.
Inventory grew from 4.0 to 4.4 months supply, although this number will surely change drastically next month due to damaged homes coming off the market for repairs and dramatically increased demand as those who flooded look to move.
According to HAR Chair Cindy Hamann, “Home sales were humming through the first three weeks of August, but the moment Harvey struck the region, everything came to a screeching halt.”
“Hurricane Harvey dealt a severe blow to the Houston area and Gulf Coast and it will probably be several weeks until we can gauge the storm’s full impact on our housing market.”
With thousands effectively homeless while they wait for flood insurance or FEMA to pay out, HAR is focusing not on sales numbers but on finding ways to help Houstonians find shelter as quickly as possible so they can begin the long term rebuilding process.
HAR continues to encourage anyone who has housing available for temporary occupancy (up to 12 weeks) to please post it on their Harvey Temporary Housing page as soon as possible to provide housing to those in need.