ABILENE - The Abilene housing market posted “extraordinary” but potentially “troubling” home sale price increases this quarter, earning it a mention in a front page Wall Street Journal article but also raising the eyebrows of an area economist.
According to National Association of Realtors data, the city ranks No. 10 in the nation in first-quarter sale price increases on existing, previously owned single-family residences compared to first-quarter sale prices from last year.
The data shows a 16 percent increase in January-March, from $125,603 last year to $145,700 this year.
“It was an extraordinary quarter there in terms of house prices,” said Karr Ingham, the Amarillo economist who established the Abilene Economic Index. “But over time it could create affordability problems.”
He said high prices are generally considered to be good for the seller of a home — it speaks to high property values and a healthy economy — but “someone has to buy that house.”
Data compiled by Ingham appears to show a slight lack of supply and increased demand in the Abilene metro area from last year, possible contributors to increased sale prices.
Even a 5 percent price increase from one year’s quarter to the next is noteworthy, making a 16 percent jump extraordinary, Ingham said.
The number of homes sold in the metro area increased by 16.2 percent from the first quarter of last year, from 345 to 401.
The dollar volume of residential real estate sales is also up from last year, skyrocketing from $50 million to $63 million, a 26.5 percent jump.
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