|Texas housing affordability waning||Texas housing affordability waning||Luis Torres||Torres||2018-05-03T05:00:00Z||Housing|
March data show Texas' housing affordability remained favorable compared to other states but hovered around a decade low. Rapid price appreciation, fueled by shortages of homes priced under $300,000, challenged Texas homebuyers. Stagnant wages struggled to keep pace with home values, holding the Texas Housing Affordability Index at 1.5.
The index shows a family earning the median income in Texas could afford a home 50 percent more than the median sale price. For much of the past decade, Texans enjoyed the capability of affording homes priced twice that of the median.
Affordability issues persisted in Austin and Dallas, with indices around 1.5 and 1.4, respectively. The Houston index extended a year-long trend at 1.7, while San Antonio ticked up to 1.6. Fort Worth boasted the highest affordability conditions at just above 1.7, despite observing some of the largest home price appreciation.
The Texas median home price balanced around $231,600 amid mixed movements in the new- and existing-home markets. The median price for resale homes reached a record-high $223,675—a $15,000 increase since March of last year. Softer demand simmered the price for new homes, holding the median around $293,000.
Price pressures picked up in North Texas after a moderate start to the year. The median price rose 1.7 percent YTD in both Dallas and Fort Worth to $286,200 and $230,200, respectively. Austin maintained the highest median home price at $298,100 but had a 2.1 percent decrease YTD.
Suppressed new-home values in Houston, a trend that pre-dates last year's hurricane, offset steady appreciation for resale homes and held the aggregate median price around $230,000. San Antonio offered the lowest median price at $220,700 but maintained a clear upward trend.
The statewide median price per square foot (ppsf) rose for the tenth consecutive month, surpassing $115. The combination of regional economic growth and scarce land lifted the Austin and Dallas ppsf above $154 and $132, respectively.
Fort Worth posted the largest percentage increase in median ppsf at 10.5 percent YOY, reaching a record high $117.48. In San Antonio, the median ppsf rose 5.9 percent YOY to $112.37 and could soon surpass the statewide level. Houston maintained the lowest ppsf at $107.41 and the smallest annual growth at 3.3 percent, thereby widening its price gap from the other major metros.
For more, read the Real Estate Center's latest Texas Housing Insight.