Texas Housing Market Starts 2015 Strong, but Inventory at All-Time LowTexas Housing Market Starts 2015 Strong, but Inventory at All-Time Lowhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=101832015-05-01T14:50:00Z2015-05-01T00:00:00Z

AUSTIN (Texas Association of Realtors) – Texas housing demand remained strong in first quarter 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 (TAR).

According to the report, 57,818 homes were sold in Texas in the first quarter, a 4.16 percent increase over the same quarter last year. 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 — an 8.82 percent decrease from a year ago.

"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," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. "Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers."

The first quarter 2015 median price for Texas homes was $186,500, a 7.8 percent increase over a year ago. The average price increased 6.99 percent to $240,303. This year-over-year increase of 6 percent to 8 percent is nearly double Texas’s historical increase of 4.1 percent annually.

"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," said TAR Chairman Scott Kesner.

In addition, Gaines said "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."

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