July 08, 2016 — Austin
Condominium sales in Texas’s major metro areas increased and townhome sales fell in the first half of 2016, according to the Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report. Released today by the Texas REALTORS®, the report shows that condominium sales in Texas’ four largest markets have seen increasing demand over townhomes and single-family homes among young professionals and retirees. This is the first time in the report’s history that condo and townhome statistics have been reported separately.
According to the report, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio all experienced an increase in condo sales between January and May 2016 compared to the same six-month period last year. Townhomes in the major Texas metros saw a slight decrease year-over-year.
“Many young urban professionals and newly retired baby boomers are buying condos, as they provide an affordable alternative to single-family homes and townhomes,” said Leslie Rouda Smith, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®. “These Millennials and retirees don’t want the upkeep of a traditional, single-family home and want to be close to nightlife and amenities.”
Condos showed double-digit gains in median price in three of the four metro areas in the first half of 2016, with the exception of Austin. Townhomes saw smaller price increases in three metro areas, with San Antonio experiencing a slight decrease. While the median price of condominiums and townhomes is still lower than single-family homes in most areas, the price-per-square-foot is significantly higher.
“A challenge facing new Texas condo and townhome developments is that these types of housing, similar to single-family, are generally not being built for under $200,000 due to high land and labor costs,” said Jim Gaines, Chief Economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “However, the older, existing condos are typically the predominant properties left in Texas’ major metro areas that can be purchased for under $200,000, the price range best suited for first-time, entry-level homebuyers.”
Smith concluded: “Housing affordability is becoming a big issue in Texas. That’s why Texas REALTORS® have worked tirelessly this summer to encourage Congress to pass a bill that increases the number of condos that are eligible for FHA financing. That legislation, already passed unanimously by the House and now under consideration by the Senate, would be the positive step many Texans need to own a condo of their own.”