HOUSTON (Houston Chronicle) – Area single-family home prices weathered the economy well in 2009, remaining essentially flat with a median price of $72.58 per sf, according to an annual home price analysis commissioned by the Houston Chronicle.

The study analyzed the median price per sf of 52,100 homes sold through the Multiple Listings Service last year in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston and Brazoria Counties. To be included, neighborhoods must have had at least five home sales. In 2009, 1,890 were listed, down from over 2,000 in 2008. Of all homes surveyed, 18 percent were new.

Some of the survey’s findings were:

  • homes priced between $80,000 and $150,000 made up the largest segment sold in the market;
  • 81 percent of the sales were outside Beltway 8;
  • Fort Bend was the only county to post a noticeable increase in median value;
  • values in more than 120 of the area’s largest neighborhoods, with at least 1,000 homes, declined or were flat last year, while about 80 registered increases;
  • the most expensive home sale was $6.3 million, down from almost $10 million in 2008; and
  • values in more than half of the neighborhoods surveyed were down — some by as much as 50 percent.

While overall prices remained stable, sales fell 25 percent from their peak in 2006.

The percentage of foreclosure sales dipped slightly to 20.5 percent of total sales.