May 01, 2013 — Austin
Today, the Texas REALTORS® released the 2013-Q1 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, showing surging demand for Texas homes at the start of the year as well as rising prices and shrinking inventory. Fueled by Texas’s population and job growth, the report bodes well for the summer selling season.
Shad Bogany, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®, commented: “2012 was a strong year for Texas real estate and, based on these first-quarter results, 2013 looks to be even stronger. We’ve heard a lot about the growth of Texas and now we’re starting to really see the impact on our real estate market.”
As featured in the report, 53,937 single-family homes were sold in Texas in the first quarter of 2013, which is 17.53% more than the same quarter of the prior year. Of the 48 markets included in the report, 40 markets featured increases in sales, indicating the surge is broad-based throughout the state.
The median price for Texas homes in 2013-Q1 was $158,000, which is 7.04% more than the first quarter of 2012. In the same timeframe, the average price was $204,718 – that’s 6.87% more than 2012-Q1. The median price for Texas homes has steadily increased, exceeding or matching the price of the prior year every quarter since the Texas Quarterly Housing Report began in 2009.
“Historically, the median price for Texas homes has increased about four percent each year and we usually see the biggest jump in price between the first and second quarters,” said Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “So, with price increases already in the range of seven percent in the first quarter, we could see Texas homes increase in value significantly this year.”
However, Gaines also offered a strong caution, “We’ll only realize our potential for increased sales volume if more sellers enter the market and start listing their properties, increasing the inventory of homes for sale.”
In first quarter 2013, the market featured 4.2 months of inventory, which is 1.7 months less than the prior year. That is significantly less than the 6.5 months of inventory cited by the Real Estate Center as a market in which the supply of homes is balanced with demand.
Gaines explained, “There is clearly demand for Texas homes and rising prices are encouraging more homeowners to consider listing their properties. However, if a homeowner wants to move up, they must be able to find a property to move to, so more supply is needed to capture the growth potential in the market.”
Gaines continued, “In the coming months, I expect we’ll start to hear national news reports about increasing sales in other markets, possibly exceeding those in Texas. That’s because other markets boomed in the mid-2000s and busted in the late 2000s, meaning they need dramatic increases in sales volume and price to recover. I call that an ‘echo boom’ and it’s more indicative of market fluctuations than fundamentals. That never happened in Texas, so the increases you’re seeing in our state are indicative of true increases in demand, driven by population growth. Assuming we continue to add jobs as we have recently, that will make our increases more sustainable.”
The Texas REALTORS® has been working to help the state absorb that growth, advocating for homeowners at the Texas Capitol during the current legislative session. Texas REALTORS® have advanced ideas on improving infrastructure for transportation and water in the state as well as consumer-protection provisions in the property-tax loan industry, mortgage lending, and the property-appraisal process. The 83rd Texas Legislature regular session ends May 27.
Chairman Bogany concluded, “The word is out that Texas is a great place to live and these results are further evidence of that. Now, Texas REALTORS® are on a mission to ensure that remains the case and help our state provide for the needs of its homeowners today and far into the future.”
The Texas Quarterly Housing Report is issued four times per year by the Texas REALTORS® with multiple listing service data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. To view the report for 2013-Q1 in its entirety, visit TexasRealEstate.com.