August 01, 2014 — Austin
The Texas housing market showed quarterly gains in housing inventory for the first time in three years in the second quarter of 2014, allowing home sales to keep pace with last year’s strong levels while home prices continue to increase from high demand, according to the 2014-Q2 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas REALTORS®.
“The statewide housing inventory shortage to date in 2014 has prevented Texas from seeing the double-digit increases in home sales growth that we saw last year, so this new increase in inventory is promising,” said Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®. “However, home sales volume continues to keep pace with 2013 – the second-best year ever for Texas real estate – showing that housing demand continues to be very strong throughout the state.”
According to the report, monthly housing inventory increased from an all-time low of 3.4 months in 2014-Q1 to 3.6 months in 2014-Q2. While this figure is still a year-over-year decrease of 12.19% from the second quarter of 2013, it is the first time since 2011 that housing inventory has increased on a quarterly basis.
This gain in housing inventory led to a strong start for the 2014 summer selling season. In the second quarter of 2014, Texas home sales increased 46.67% from the first quarter of 2014 and 1.13% year-over-year to 81,272 Texas homes sales. In the same time frame, the median price for Texas homes increased 5.87% from 2013-Q2 to $187,300 and average price increased 5.28% year-over-year to $246,209.
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, explained, “The development of new homes and vacant lots is on the rise throughout Texas, and as a result we’re seeing much-needed gains in inventory. That said, Texas is still facing an inventory shortage. A steady, ongoing supply of new housing stock – particularly in the first-time and move-up buyer market, where a majority of home sales volume occurs – will be crucial to Texas housing market growth in the second half of 2014 and in the future.”
Chairman Hatfield concluded, “The 2014 summer selling season is one of the most competitive housing markets Texas has ever seen, and strict lending standards have made it difficult for some Texans to purchase a home. Texas REALTORS® can help homebuyers understand their lending options before they begin the homebuying process to help them gain a competitive edge in the market.”
Additionally, Texas homebuyers are encouraged to take advantage of homebuyer education programs, which can make owning a Texas home more affordable and attainable for some first-time and low-income homebuyers. Texans can learn more about homebuyer education programs and sign up for a course at GetReadyTX.org.