February 01, 2016 — Austin
Texas home sales and home prices reached all-time highs in 2015, capping off another strong year for Texas real estate, according to the 2015-Q4 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas REALTORS®.
“Texas has enjoyed four straight years of booming real estate growth and record-high housing demand,” said Leslie Rouda Smith, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®. “While 2016 might not turn out to be another record year for Texas real estate, housing demand will likely remain strong and home prices will likely continue to rise over the next year. Four years of housing inventory shortages have created a backlog of housing demand across the state—particularly in Texas’s metro areas.”
According to the report, 70,150 homes were sold in Texas in the fourth quarter of 2015, a 0.3% increase from the same quarter of 2014. Throughout 2015, Texas home sales rose 4.1% from 2014 to 309,090 home sales. This is the first time that annual Texas home sales have topped 300,000.
Texas home prices continued to climb steadily in the fourth quarter and throughout 2015. In 2015-Q4, the median price for Texas homes was $195,000, a 5.5% increase from the same quarter of the previous year. While the median price for Texas homes reached $200,000 in summer 2015, this is the highest annual median price figure in the history of Texas real estate.
Housing inventory rose slightly throughout 2015, ending the fourth quarter of 2015 at 3.4 months compared to 3.1 months in the same quarter the previous year. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University estimates that a monthly housing inventory between 6.0 and 6.5 months is a level at which the supply and demand for homes is balanced.
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, explained, “Falling oil prices and drilling activity are just beginning to significantly impact the Texas real estate market. The full effects have yet to be seen. However, the decline of the energy sector could add much-needed housing stock to the market, filling labor shortages in the homebuilding industry and helping the Texas housing market move towards a more balanced market for buyers and sellers.”
Active listings statewide rose 12.8% year-over-year to 86,976 active listings in 2015-Q4. Texas homes also continued to spend less time on the market. In 2015-Q4, Texas homes spent an average of 60 days on the market, a decrease of four days compared to the same quarter of the prior year.
Chairman Smith concluded, “Texas’s future as a great place to live, work, and do business is dependent upon having local and state leaders who are committed to finding lasting solutions to address our growing state’s needs. As the 2016 Texas primary elections approach, the Texas REALTORS® will be actively supporting candidates who are committed to protecting the rights of private-property owners, supporting small businesses, and maintaining a strong economy.”