HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Texas home builders registered a strong year for sales in 2017, according to a report by HomesUSA.com.
“We are coming off one of the best years in recent Texas new home construction history, despite the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey,” said Ben Caballero, owner of HomesUSA. “For builders and buyers, new home sales appear to be starting the year strong as buyers are continuing to benefit from generally lower new home prices.” He added “If the Amazon HQ2 decision goes in favor of either Austin or Dallas, the next decade in Texas home building would be phenomenal.”
In all four of the Texas major housing markets, new home sales continue to show record strength. The rolling 12-month average of home sales in these markets increased from 3,480 in November to 3,548 in December. That’s according to data compiled by HomesUSA.com from local MLS and trade associations, including the Houston Association of Realtors, North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, San Antonio Board of Realtors and the Austin Board of Realtors.
According to HomesUSA.com, based on a 12-month rolling average, Dallas-Ft. Worth posted sales of 1,322 in December, up from 1,279 in November. Houston posted new homes sales of 1,182 for December, up from 1,178 sales in November. Austin posted sales of 589 for December, up from 571 in November. San Antonio posted an increase in sales with 455 in December, up from 452 in November.
The Texas data is in alignment with the strength of U.S. new home sales nationally in 2017. The Commerce Department’s announcement on Thursday on New Home Sales for December reported total new home were up 8.3% nationally for 2017, despite the fact that December new home sales were down 9.3% from November.
In Texas, the pace of new home sales in December quickened slightly overall as the combined “days on market” fell from 122.13 days in November to 121.72 days in December. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio also saw the sales pace increase slightly last month, but according to the HomesUSA.com Index for December, the sales pace in Austin slowed slightly.
Caballero notes the average Days on Market for New Homes “is about 65 days higher for new homes than for existing or ‘pre-owned’ homes.”
Why? “There’s a huge difference between selling a new home and a pre-owned or existing home,” Caballero explained. “New homes are often listed for sale during the early stages of construction. This early market exposure allows buyers the opportunity to customize the home. Plus, by placing more inventory on the market, as it is being built, expands the inventory of available homes, and that’s especially helpful for buyers and agents in a tight housing market.”
The HomesUSA.com New Home Sales Index is a first of its kind index to track new home sales. Created by Caballero, who was named “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent” by real estate news firm Inman News, the index is an analysis by HomesUSA.com of sales of homes listed in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio local Multiple Listing Services.