Texas housing report shows sales remain strong in Q1

Home sales

Up, up, up. That’s the news from the latest Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors.

“On the heels of a second consecutive record year for Texas home sales, the positive momentum experienced in the Texas housing market during the last quarter of 2016 has continued in 2017,” said Vicki Fullerton, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “Annual gains in both sales and listing activity in the first quarter indicate that a strong summer selling season could be ahead.”

In the first quarter of 2017, Texas home sales volume increased 4.6 percent year-over-year to 68,420 sales. The median price for Texas homes increased 9.4 percent in the same time frame to $213,325.

The Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was in line with the statewide results with the median price of a home now $243,500, up 13.3 percent from the same quarter last year.

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The number of active listings were up 7.3 percent with 17,907 in the first quarter of 2017. Closed sales were up 2.4 percent, hitting 20,544 in the first quarter. The number of days on the market and days to close was 77, six days less than in the first quarter 2016. The months of inventory was slightly up in the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth MSA too, hitting 2.2, up slightly from 2.1 percent a year earlier.

The price distribution of Texas homes showed a decline in sales volume among lower-priced homes typically considered affordable for entry-level homebuyers in Texas. The amount of Texas homes sold for less than $200,000 decreased 5.7 percentage points from 2016-Q1 to 45.6 percent of all Texas homes sold in 2017-Q1.

“Texas leads the country in new home development, but its rapid pace of housing development is still not enough to keep pace with population growth and housing demand throughout the state,” said Dr. Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “As Texas home prices and U.S. interest rates are projected to increase in 2017, now is an opportune time to buy a home in Texas.”’

Active listings increased 6 percent year-over-year to 98,399 listings in the first quarter of 2017. Texas homes spent an average of 64 days on the market during the same time frame, which is unchanged from last year.

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Monthly housing inventory in Texas increased 0.1 months from 2016-Q1 to 3.6 months of inventory. This is the first time since 2011 that monthly housing inventory in Texas has posted annual gains in the first quarter. At the same time, statewide housing stock remains well below the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University’s benchmark of 6 to 6.5 months of inventory as a balanced housing market.

“The growing shortage of lower-priced housing inventory is directly impacting the ability for Texas residents to afford a home,” said Fullerton. “Texas Realtors have expert knowledge of affordability programs and financing tools available to Texas homebuyers. Homebuyers seeking to purchase a home this summer should begin working with a Texas Realtor now to determine what resources are available to them.”