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Texas condo sales up, townhome sales down, report says

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Condominium sales in Texas’ top metropolitan areas surged while townhome sales fell in the first half of 2016, according to a newly released industry report.

Released this month by the Texas Association of Realtors, the report shows that condos are seeing more demand compared to townhomes and single-family homes among young professionals and retirees.

The trend marks the first time in the report’s history that condo and townhome statistics have been reported separately, the association pointed out.

According to the report, Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio all saw higher condo sales between January and May 2016 compared to the same six-month period last year. Townhomes in the major Texas metros saw a slight decrease year-over-year.

“Many young urban professionals and newly retired baby boomers are buying condos, as they provide an affordable alternative to single-family homes and townhomes,” said Leslie Rouda Smith, association chairwoman, commenting in a news release.

“These Millenials and retirees don’t want the upkeep of a traditional, single-family home and want to be close to nightlife and amenities,” Smith said.

Except for Austin, condos showed double-digit gains in median price in three of the four metro areas in the first half of the year. Townhomes experienced smaller price increases in three metros, with San Antonio seeing a slight decrease, the report said.

While the median price of condominiums and townhomes is less than single-family homes in most areas, the price-per-square-foot is significantly higher.

“A challenge facing new Texas condo and townhome developments is that these types of housing, similar to single-family, are generally not being built for under $200,000 due to high land and labor costs,” said Jim Gaines, chief economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, commenting in a news release.

“However, the older, existing condos are typically the predominant properties left in Texas’ major metro areas that can be purchased for under $200,000, the price range best suited for first-time, entry-level homebuyers,” Gaines said.

The Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report is based on data from The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. It analyzes condominium and townhome sales data from January through May 2016 for Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio. Monthly reports may be viewed at https://www.texasrealestate.com/

The Texas Association of Realtors advocates on behalf of Texas Realtors and private-property owners in its stated mission to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. More information is available at https://www.texasrealestate.com/

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