HOUSTON (Houston Association of Realtors) – January marked the eighth consecutive month of increased existing home sales for H-Town, according to the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR). The year also opened with a continued decline in active property listings and growth in pending sales, which the association said signals a healthy market with a balanced supply of housing inventory. January sales of single-family homes were up 9.2 percent over January 2011, the association found. All segments of the housing market grew except the luxury segment (homes starting at $500,000). “The January report shows continued strength in the Houston housing market that we began seeing in the latter part of 2011, and it gives us cause for optimism as we look ahead to the typically active spring and summer buying months,” said Wayne A. Stroman, HAR chairman and CEO of Stroman Realty. “We have also seen more jobs being filled locally, and you generally don’t experience a strong real estate market without healthy employment.” January’s single-family home median price rose 0.9 percent year-over-year to $139,900. The average price of $194,765 was statistically unchanged from January 2011. Foreclosure property sales reported in the MLS increased 22 percent year-over-year in January. Foreclosures made up 27.8 percent of all property sales, which is higher than the 2011 average of 21 percent. The median price of foreclosures in January was flat at $82,550. January sales of all property types in Houston totaled 3,632, up 4.8 percent compared with January 2011. Total dollar volume for properties sold during the month rose 5.9 percent to $683 million versus $645 million a year earlier.