Home Sales Take a Pause in Texas but Market Outlook Remains Strong

October 27, 2014, 1:02 PM

Sales of existing single-family homes in Texas have slowed in recent weeks, but the news isn’t all bad. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, sales totals were down only 1 percent from the same period in 2013, and 2013 ranked as the second-best year ever for residential sales statewide. By maintaining the same levels, sales volumes remain at a near-record level consistent with the population and economic growth Texas has experienced in recent years.

The slowdown is likely to be only temporary. The North Texas Real Estate Information Systems report that preowned home sales rose 6 percent in September from a year ago, and pending sales are up at the end of last month, indicating the market will finish on a strong note for the year. In Houston, September sales similarly rose 7 percent compared to the same month last year.

Texas home prices continue to climb, but at slowed rate over last year. Median home prices have risen approximately 7 percent over 2013 — a strong increase but smaller than the previous year’s increase of almost 10 percent.

Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines acknowledges that higher prices, tougher mortgage qualifying standards and a tight inventory of homes continue to keep the housing market in check. These conditions have made buying particularly difficult for first- and second-time borrowers. “The estimated 2014 market share of sales for homes priced under $70,000 is about 7 percent compared with almost 35 percent of all sales in 1996 and nearly 15 percent in 2011,” Gaines said. Current residential home sales data for all 50 Texas metropolitan areas can be found on the Center’s website.

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