Home sales in Houston take 25 percent hit due to Harvey

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Homes are surrounded by floodwater after torrential rains pounded Southeast Texas following Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on Aug. 31, 2017, in Orange, Texas.

HOUSTON (AP) - Statistics from the Houston Association of Realtors show the Houston area's real estate market, which had been on track for a record year, has been hammered by Harvey.

The sales organization reports the 7,077 sales for August represents a more than 25 percent drop from the same month a year ago. It's the first monthly decline in nearly a year.

The association's chair, Cindy Hamann, said Wednesday sales for the first three weeks of August were "humming along" and when Harvey hit in the last week of the month, "everything came to a screeching halt."

For the year, sales are up 1.8 percent from 2016. Hamann says the 4.4-month inventory of available housing is expected to shrink as people in need of homes buy undamaged properties.