November 01, 2012 — Austin
In the third quarter of 2012, the Texas real estate market saw increases in sales volume and prices for single-family homes, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of improved results and a turning point in the sustainability of demand for Texas real estate.
According to the 2012-Q3 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, issued today by the Texas REALTORS®, the market featured 66,746 single-family home sales, 14.17% more than the same quarter of the prior year. In addition, the median price was $161,400, which is 6.46% more than 2011-Q3.
Joe Stewart, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®, explained, “Texas has been leading the nation economically and these third quarter results are more evidence that a strong real estate market is driving prosperity in our state. With the 83rd Texas Legislature around the corner, we must continue the homeowner-friendly policies that have created that strength and find new ways to support private-property rights in Texas.”
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, also commented on the results, “Previously, it was unclear whether the positive momentum of the first half of the year was a temporary surge or a sustainable improvement. These third quarter results clarify that picture, indicating that the housing market has recovered in Texas. Assuming the national economy doesn’t falter in a significant way, I think we’ll see this positive momentum continue in Texas.”
In addition to improvements in sales volume and median price, the “months inventory” figure for third quarter improved. Indicating the balance between supply and demand in the real estate market, the Texas market featured 5.5 months of inventory in 2012-Q3. That is 1.9 months less than 2011-Q3 and marks the fifth quarter in a row in which inventory has decreased from the prior quarter. In comparison, the Real Estate Center cites 6.5 months of inventory as a market in which demand is balanced with supply.
Gaines explained, “The listings inventory in Texas has been falling each quarter and the decrease since the same quarter of last year is sizable. One factor may be that sellers have been waiting to get a higher price for their home, so they’ve chosen not to list it despite a desire to sell. But with the level of pent-up demand, we’re now seeing prices in Texas increase consistently so hopefully sellers may gain confidence and enter the market.”
The Texas Quarterly Housing Report is issued four times per year by the Texas REALTORS® with multiple listing service data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.