Home prices in Houston broke records in March as the city’s real estate market experienced a 10th straight month of rising sales, according to data from the Houston Association of Realtors.

Single-family home median prices climbed 7.8% over March 2011 to $161,750, a record high for a March in Houston. Average prices increased 5.7% year-over-year to $227,270, also the city’s highest level for the month and only $70 below the all-time high reached in June 2008.

Declining sales of homes priced below $80,000 and increased activity in the luxury-housing segment fueled the price increase.

March sales of single-family homes rose 7.8% versus one year earlier. That follows February’s 15.6% jump, the biggest sales boost since September.

Houston’s inventory (5.6 months) is at its lowest level since December 2008 and is outpacing the national real estate market, said HAR chairman Wayne Stroman.

“The moderation in pending sales in March could possibly translate to a leveling off of sales before we enter the summer buying season, but we will know for sure next month,” Stroman said.

Foreclosure property sales fell 12.8% from March 2011, comprising 19.6% of all property sales, down from the 21.1% level observed over the past 12 months. The median price of foreclosures in February was flat at $81,500.

March sales of all property types in Houston totaled 5,908, an increase of 7.4% compared to March 2011. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month soared 15.2% to $1.3 billion versus $1.1 billion a year earlier.

Click on the image below for a detailed breakout of Houston’s March real estate data.



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