AUSTIN – This year is expected to be a record year for home sales in Texas where a dramatic decline in oil prices has hurt the energy industry and brought on layoffs, according to the Texas Association of Realtors.
The association reported 91,704 homes were sold in Texas in the third quarter of 2015, up 7.8 percent from the third quarter of 2014. This follows significant increases earlier this year.
“At this current pace, 2015 could very well surpass 2007 as a record year for Texas home sales,” said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors. “Overall, statewide numbers continue to be strong. Last year fell just short of being the best year ever in Texas real estate, but 2015 has shown consistent year-over-year gains in both home sales and prices.”
Texas home prices saw similar gains, with median price rising 7.7 percent year-over-year to $199,900 in third quarter of 2015, according to the Texas Quarterly Housing Report.
Monthly housing inventory in Texas was 4.0 months in 2015-Q3 compared to 3.9 months in the same quarter last year. While housing inventory remains firmly within a seller’s market, it appears to be holding steady despite rising housing demand. 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 supply and demand for homes is balanced.
Jim Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, explained, “The housing market continued to be strong in Texas during the third quarter, but high housing demand coupled with shortages in labor and lots continued to restrict new home construction, leaving inventory strained. Fortunately, more Texans are listing their homes on the market as prices have risen, possibly in expectation of rising interest rates in the future.”
Active listings statewide rose 7.6 percent year-over-year to 102,644 active listings in the third quarter. Texas homes also continued to spend less time on the market. In the third quarter of 2015, Texas homes spent an average of 51 days on the market, a decrease of six days compared to the same quarter of the prior year.