January 05, 2015 — Austin
Strong growth in luxury home sales continued in 2014 throughout Texas’s largest markets, according to the 2015 Texas Luxury Home Sales Report released today by the Texas REALTORS®. The report cited sales volume increases from 9% up to more than 25% for homes sold at $1 million or more in markets including Austin, Dallas Fort-Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®, commented, “The attributes that have driven growth in Texas’s real estate market in recent years—job growth and population growth—are also driving the luxury market. We’re seeing more demand for luxury properties from Texans whose incomes are increasing, enabling them to ‘move up,’ and from those moving to our state from elsewhere in the country.”
As covered in the Texas Relocation Report released by the Texas REALTORS® in October, Texas continues to be the most sought-after location for moving, gaining more residents than any other state from places like California, Florida, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Illinois. According to the report, for every Texan that moves to California, two Californians move to Texas. This migration is driving demand for homes in Texas, including those in the luxury market.
“The overall economic growth and prosperity in Texas have contributed heavily to the luxury market, making it one of the strongest segments of housing in Texas in 2014,” said Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “We also saw a lot of people moving to Texas from places like California, where a modest two-bedroom condo can be valued upwards of $1 million. Those people sell their home in California, move to Texas, and realize their money goes much further in our market. Thus, even if they don’t have an income typical of a luxury homeowner, they have assets to purchase luxury homes and are stimulating that market.”
Based on data analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, the Texas Luxury Home Sales Report analyzes trends in homes sold for $1 million or more from January through October 2014 in Texas’s four largest markets.
In terms of volume, the Houston area featured the largest number of luxury home sales in Texas, with $1M+ homes representing almost 2% of overall home sales. Luxury sales were up 13% over the prior year, which significantly outpaced the 2% year-over-year growth seen in volume for the total market. Active listings for luxury homes in Houston were also up compared to the prior year, by 19.7% in a market where overall listings were down 7.4%. That trend was seen in inventory for luxury homes as well, which was .5 more months than last year, whereas inventory for the overall market decreased by .3 months.
The Austin market showed similar trends, with luxury homes representing 2% of the overall housing market and an increase in sales volume for $1M+ homes of 9% over the prior year. That compares to a total market sales volume increase of 1% in the Austin area. Listings for luxury homes in Austin increased at a pace consistent with the rest of the market—approximately 11%—and the time required to sell a luxury home remained slightly longer than five months, compared to 40 days for the overall market.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, luxury sales represented a smaller percentage of the market at 1.2%, but the sales volume was the second highest in the state and increased by double digits, up 15% compared to 2014 when overall home sales were flat. Despite a modest increase in listings, the inventory of luxury homes shrank in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2014 by 1.2 months, mirroring a decrease in inventory across the market.
The most aggressive growth in luxury sales in Texas was seen in San Antonio, where $1M+ homes represented less than 1% of the market, but volume increased 26% over 2013. In addition, the time required to sell a luxury home in San Antonio decreased significantly, going from 18 months in 2013 to 15 months in 2014.