News Column

First quarter of 2013 sets aggressive pace for Texas real estate this year

May 1 2013 12:00AM

Hispanic PR Wire

AUSTIN, Texas, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Today, the Texas Association of Realtors released the 2013-Q1 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, showing surging demand for Texas homes at the start of the year as well as rising prices and shrinking inventory. Fueled by Texas' population and job growth, the report bodes well for the summer selling season.

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Shad Bogany, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, commented, "2012 was a strong year for Texas real estate and, based on these first-quarter results, 2013 looks to be even stronger. We've heard a lot about the growth of Texas and now we're starting to really see the impact on our real estate market."

As featured in the report, 53,937 single-family homes were sold in Texas in the first quarter of 2013, which is 17.53 percent more than the same quarter of the prior year. Of the 48 markets included in the report, 40 markets featured increases in sales, indicating the surge is broad-based throughout the state.

The median price for Texas homes in 2013-Q1 was $158,000, which is 7.04 percent more than the first quarter of 2012. In the same timeframe, the average price was $204,718, 6.87 percent more than 2012-Q1. The median price for Texas homes has steadily increased, exceeding or matching the price of the prior year every quarter since the Texas Quarterly Housing Report began in 2009.

"Historically, the median price for Texas homes has increased about four percent each year and we usually see the biggest jump in price between the first and second quarters," said Jim Gaines, PhD., economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "So, with price increases already in the range of seven percent in the first quarter, we could see Texas homes increase in value significantly this year."

However, Gaines also offered a strong caution, "We'll only realize our potential for increased sales volume if more sellers enter the market and start listing their properties, increasing the inventory of homes for sale."

In the first quarter of 2013, the market featured 4.2 months of inventory, which is 1.7 months less than the prior year. That is significantly less than the 6.5 months of inventory cited by the Real Estate Center as a market in which the supply of homes is balanced with demand.

Gaines explained, "There is clearly demand for Texas homes and rising prices are encouraging more homeowners to consider listing their properties. However, if a homeowner wants to move up, they must be able to find a property to move to, so more supply is needed to capture the growth potential in the market."

Gaines continued, "In the coming months, I expect we'll start to hear national news reports about increasing sales in other markets, possibly exceeding those in Texas. That's because other markets boomed in the mid-2000s and busted in the late 2000s, meaning they need dramatic increases in sales volume and price to recover. I call that an 'echo boom' and it's more indicative of market fluctuations than fundamentals. That never happened in Texas, so the increases you're seeing in our state are indicative of true increases in demand, driven by population growth. Assuming we continue to add jobs as we have recently, that will make our increases more sustainable."

The Texas Association of Realtors has been working to help the state absorb that growth, advocating for homeowners at the Texas Capitol during the current legislative session. Texas Realtors have advanced ideas on improving infrastructure for transportation and water in the state as well as consumer-protection provisions in the property-tax loan industry, mortgage lending and the property-appraisal process. The 83rd session of the Texas Legislature will conclude on May 31.

Chairman Bogany concluded, "The word is out that Texas is a great place to live and these results are further evidence of that. Now, Texas Realtors are on a mission to ensure that remains the case and help our state provide for the needs of its homeowners today and far into the future."

The Texas Quarterly Housing Report is issued four times per year by the Texas Association of Realtors with multiple listing service data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. To view the report for 2013-Q1 in its entirety, visit http://www.TexasRealEstate.com.

About the Texas Quarterly Housing Report
Data for the Texas Quarterly Housing Report is analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University using statistics compiled from 48 multiple listing services in markets throughout Texas. The report includes data for single-family home sales over the course of one quarter and is scheduled for release by the Texas Association of Realtors on the following dates each year (or the next business day): Feb. 1, May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1.

About the Texas Association of REALTORS®
With approximately 80,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is a professional membership organization that represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. We advocate on behalf of Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. Visit TexasRealEstate.com to learn more.

CONTACT: Stacy Armijo
Pierpont Communications
512-448-4950
sarmijo@piercom.com



SOURCE Texas Association of Realtors



Source: Hispanic PR Wire