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Housing market soars during hurricane rebuild

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on The Horn News

U.S. home sales rose slightly last month as the Houston housing market quickly recovered from Hurricane Harvey. Still, a shortage of available homes is thwarting many would-be buyers and limiting sales.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday existing home sales increased 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million. That’s the first increase after three months of declines.

Yet sales have fallen 1.5 percent from a year ago, the first year-over-year decline since July 2016. That’s because so few homes are for sale, particularly at lower prices. Buyers have bid up housing costs: The median home price rose to $245,100, up 4.2 percent from a year ago. That’s faster than wage gains.’

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“It’s simply impossible to sell more homes when the number of homes for sale keeps falling,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist for housing data provider Zillow.

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