November 01, 2010 — Austin
According to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today, the volume of real estate sales in Texas decreased in the third quarter of 2010, but was essentially flat year-to-date, due to an early peak in the market driven by the expiration of federal homebuyer tax credits.
For the period of July through September 2010, sales of existing single-family homes decreased 20 percent to 48,625 compared to the same quarter of the prior year. Year-to-date, home sales are essentially flat at 158,699, down less than one percent compared to 2009. The median home price of homes in Texas remained virtually unchanged in 2010-Q3 at $152,000, and the months of inventory of Texas homes edged upwards to 8 months.
Bill Jones, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®, commented on the results, “If you view these results only within the third quarter, they appear discouraging. However, the expiration of homebuyer tax credits distorts the picture. When evaluated on a broader year-to-date basis, it becomes clear the market is performing consistently compared to 2009. It’s also encouraging to see how Texas real estate is holding its value.”
Chairman Jones continued, “This year, Texas is withstanding the economic storm that has ravaged other parts of the country, in large part because the leaders of our state made the protection of private-property rights a priority. As we approach the upcoming legislative session, it’s important for lawmakers to continue to support public policies that keep Texas on the leading edge of the economic recovery.”
The Texas REALTORS® works in partnership with lawmakers to promote policies that protect property rights and homeowners throughout the state. Currently, Texas ranks 41st out of 50 states in homeownership. Electing lawmakers who advocate on behalf of Texas homeowners is crucial to opening the path of homeownership — and the wealth-building opportunities it creates — for more Texans.
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, noted, “This is a difficult time to compare statistics because we’re comparing two very different markets – one with substantial support from the federal government in the form of tax credits and one without that support. Thus, year-to-date sales volume is a more meaningful figure to evaluate the current condition — and that is still on pace with 2009.”
Gaines added, “Although it’s hard to predict where the market is headed, if you look at the long-term trends that determine real estate growth, Texas is in a good position. As a state, we are still adding population and have experienced positive employment growth since almost the first of the year, which is key to rejuvenating our economy overall.”