Supply of $200,000 homes disappearing along Texas border after record start to yearSupply of $200,000 homes disappearing along Texas border after record start to yearhttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=257552021-04-06T05:00:00Z2021-04-06T21:00:00Z

COLLEGE STATION – If anyone has a reason to smile about the current state of the Texas border economy, it has to be anyone selling a home priced less than $200,000. 

"The supply of active listings in that price range along the border fell to unprecedented lows in January," said Dr. Luis Torres, research economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center.

New listings for homes priced less than $200,000 increased slightly in Brownsville and McAllen, but total months of inventory fell to 2.4 and 3.0 months, respectively. At the same time, Laredo’s supply decreased to 1.8 months. El Paso’s slid to 1.4 months.

"El Paso’s inventory of homes priced less than $200,000 would be exhausted in around a month at the current sales pace without any new active listings," said Torres.

The Center considers a six month’s inventory a "balanced market." Unprecedented demand means what few affordable homes are available and are selling faster.

"Homes in Brownsville are selling an average 80 days sooner this year than in 2020. In El Paso, they are selling 49 days quicker," said Torres.

After six straight monthly declines, McAllen days-on-market ticked up in January but remained at 68 days, down from 85 days a year earlier. The average home in Laredo sells after just 42 days.

January border home sales increased for the third consecutive month, accelerating 3 percent to start the year with record activity. El Paso sales for homes priced more than $200,000 accounted for much of the improvement and pulled the metro’s overall metric up 3.8 percent. 

McAllen posted similar sales growth, although most of the gain was due to elevated sales for homes priced less than $200,000. Still, sales for that price range comprised only 60 percent of the total share compared to 70 percent a year ago. Laredo sales decreased 6.4 percent with declines across the price spectrum. Brownsville sales contracted 2.5 percent after double-digit growth the previous month. 

Sales of higher-priced homes continue to increase as limited inventories at the lower end of the market drive up median prices. The median home price rose to record-highs of $197,400 and $191,600 in Brownsville and El Paso, respectively. The Laredo median rose to $195,600. In McAllen, where monthly sales fluctuations favored lower-priced homes, the median price fell $12,000 to $175,200, still 8.8 percent growth over last year.

For more, read the latest Texas Border Report.

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