Fort Worth’s median home price retreats, erasing uptick

The median home price in Fort Worth during January slid to  $320,000, erasing the uptick in prices recorded in December.

The January median price was $20,000 lower than the December median sales price of $340,000. The dip realigns median home prices back in line with the price level of $325,000 recorded in January 2022, according to data from the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors, the Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University and Texas Realtors.

But soon thereafter, median sales prices in Fort Worth jumped dramatically to peak at  $367,000 in May. Since then, prices began declining, largely correlating with a spike in mortgage rates. The median home sales price tumbled to $330,009 in November before rising by $10,000 in December.

The decrease in prices in January is welcome news for prospective homebuyers, who have grappled with low inventory, higher mortgage rates and the inflation challenges. Momentum is moving the market in favor of buyers.

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Although median sales price are similar to a year ago, inventory is higher. Last month, inventory was at 2.1 months, up from a year ago when inventory was only 0.7 months. Nevertheless, inventory of 2.1 months is still well below the 6.5 months that the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University cites as a balanced market.

“From my viewpoint, the market is stabilizing, which hopefully means the volatility is behind us,” Bart Calahan, president of the Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS, said in a statement.

“For homebuyers who have been stuck on the sidelines, the fact that prices are steady and homes are taking longer to sell is a good thing,” Calahan stated. “They have a great opportunity now to explore all the options and find a home that fits their needs.”

Across Tarrant County, median sales prices were 2.6 percent higher in January than a year ago. Johnson County recorded a 21.3 percent higher median sales price in January compared to a year ago and Parker County’s median sales price increased 0.4 percent in January compared to January 2022.

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In January, the median home sales price in Tarrant County was $337,590; in Johnson County it was $380,000 and in Parker County it was $415,000.

Closed sales dropped significantly in January compared to a year ago in Fort Worth, down 35 percent; down 32.7 percent across Tarrant County; down 34.2 percent in Johnson County; and down 30.4 percent in Parker County.

The number of days on the market increased in Fort Worth, across Tarrant County and in Johnson and Parker counties.

With the peak home-buying season of spring still ahead, hope is growing that buyers and sellers will emerge.

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A recent analysis of census data by the National Association of Realtors indicates that young adults who had been living at home with their parents are starting to leave the nest. In 2022, 15.6 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 lived at home with their family, down from 17.8 percent in 2020.

As rent continues to increase by double digits and with some savings in-hand, buying a home has moved within reach for this age group, according to the national Realtors group.

 “A slowdown in home prices is underway and welcomed, particularly as the typical home price has risen 42 percent in the past three years,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “Even with a projected reduction in home sales this year, prices are expected to remain stable in the vast majority of the markets due to extremely limited supply.”

After modest declines, mortgage interest rates are rising again. The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.32 percent as of Feb. 16, according to Freddie Mac, up from 6.13 during the week of Jan. 26.