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Bulletproof: Despite Oil Crash, Texas Home Sales Surge in First Quarter; Inventory at All-Time Low

AUSTIN – The Texas residential markets remained immune to the drastic fall in oil prices, as the Lone Star State posted exceptionally strong home sales in the first quarter of 2015, the Texas Association of Realtors reported.

The inventory of homes for sale fell to an all-time low.

With oil falling from $107 a barrel last summer to less than $60 a barrel currently, many have been predicting awesome woes for Texas housing markets. Indeed, the rig count is down substantially and thousands of layoffs have been announced.

But the Houston Association of Realtors recently reported first quarter 2015 sales were ahead of 2014 sales – and that is significant since last year was the strongest year ever for home sales in Houston.

Houston’s bright story is true around the state – the first quarter was hot for Texas housing markets.

“The impact of falling oil prices has not yet hit Texas real estate, especially in its metro areas,” says economist Jim Gaines of the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. But he added that softening could happen in Texas realty in the last part of 2015.

The TAR reported 57,818 homes were sold in Texas in the first quarter of 2015, up 4 percent increase from the same quarter of 2014.

Prices were strong. The Texas first quarter median was $186,500, up about 8 percent over last year.

“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,” says Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Realtors.

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