Texas real estate starts 2015 strong, housing inventory hits all-time low

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Texas Association of REALTORS® releases 2015-Q1 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
CONTACT: Stacy Armijo - Pierpont Communications, 512-448-4950

May 01 2015 — Austin

Texas housing demand remained strong in the first quarter of 2015, with home sales posting unseasonal gains and housing inventory falling to an all-time low, according to the 2015-Q1 Texas Quarterly Housing Report released today by the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

“The first quarter of the year is typically a slow period for homebuying and selling, so we were thrilled to see strong home sales gains statewide in the first part of 2015,” said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. “Market conditions are ripe for another competitive summer selling season in 2015. Texans looking to make a move this summer should begin working with a Texas REALTOR® now to prepare.”

According to the 2015-Q1 Texas Quarterly Housing Report, 57,818 homes were sold in Texas in the first quarter of 2015, a 4.16% increase from the same quarter of 2014. This is a significant change from the first half of last year, when Texas home sales were essentially flat.

Monthly housing inventory continued to drop in the first three months of 2015, falling to a new all-time low of 3.1 months in 2015-Q1. This is a decrease of 8.82% from 2014-Q1 and is less than half the 6.5-month level that the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites as a balanced housing market.

Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, explained, “Homes are being built as quickly as possible, yet most are not in the price range where inventory is needed most – the entry-level market. Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices, and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers.”

In 2015-Q1, the median price for Texas homes was $186,500, a 7.8% increase from 2014-Q1, and the average price increased 6.99% to $240,303. This year-over-year increase of 6% to 8% is nearly double Texas’s historical increase of 4.1% annually.

Chairman Kesner concluded, “The demand for Texas real estate is still strong, but our state’s housing market growth will not be sustainable if high homeownership costs, low housing inventory, and unfunded transportation needs are allowed to continue. That’s why state legislators are working on long-term solutions now that will provide much-needed transportation funding and tax relief to Texas homeowners. Texas REALTORS® applaud these efforts.”

Gaines added additional caution: “The impact of falling oil prices has not yet hit Texas real estate, especially in its metro areas. Texas home sales could experience a slowdown in the last half of 2015 and, depending on when and at what level oil prices stabilize, end 2015 at a lower level than previous years.”


About the Texas Quarterly Housing Report

Data for the Texas Quarterly Housing Report is provided by the Data Relevance Project, a partnership among local REALTOR® associations and their MLSs, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, and the Texas Association of REALTORS®. The report provides quarterly real estate sales data from a statewide perspective and for 25 metropolitan statistical areas in Texas. It is scheduled for release by the Texas Association of REALTORS® on the following dates each year (or the next business day): Feb. 1, May 1, Aug. 1, and Nov. 1. To view the report in its entirety, visit texasrealestate.com.

About the Texas Association of REALTORS®

With more than 100,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is a professional membership organization that represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. We advocate on behalf of Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. Visit texasrealestate.com to learn more.

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