Texas Condo Report Mid 2015 Graphic

Condo sales are still brisk compared to last year, but sales have decreased an average of one percent between January and May of 2015, says the Texas Association of Realtors‘ recent report. Using data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, The 2015 Texas Condominium Mid-Year Sales Report shows that condo and townhome sales are flat or slipping in the four largest markets.

With runaway demand, Austin still leads the price-per-square-foot category, while condo sales actually decreased 12 percent year-over-year in the state capital. Both Dallas and San Antonio posted modest gains of 3 and 6 percent, respectively. Houston condo sales dipped just 1 percent from the same time last year. Jump for more interesting stats.

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Steve Brown naree

Writing this while listening to the economics panel, so bear with me on any boo boos. The biggest takeaway from the panel of distinguished economists was how rising rents are forcing millennials into the housing market, but could also be hurting us/them and creating inflation that will ultimately lead to higher interest rates:

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, says low 30 year interest rates are being assisted by lack of inflation and low gas prices. But come November, those “gas benefits” might end. (Midland Odessa, take note.) Rising rents, a huge red flag all four experts agreed, might push inflation up about 3% by the end of this year or early next. That in turn could push interest rates up. Yun predicts a rate hike in the federal funds in Oct. of 2015. (more…)

NAREE-MIAMI-1-2

Candy is in Miami right now, wading through all of the amazing real estate news at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ annual conference. While we are a little jealous (OK, we are A LOT jealous) of her temporary location and proximity to so many brilliant minds at #NAREE15, we did score this bit of news from Realtor.com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, who was on the “Mortgage Availability for Millennials and Other First-Time Buyers” panel:

“Despite the slow indicators we saw earlier this year, 2015 is on pace to be one of the best years for housing since 2006 due to strong sales and higher than predicted home prices,” said Smoke. “Additionally, we’re observing an uptick in millennial traffic and sentiment that we expect will result in more first-time home buyer sales in the later part of the year.”

This conclusion comes from a survey conducted by Realtor.com, showing a slight increase in Millennials ages 25-34 visiting the website with the goal of buying a home.

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Homes are flying off the market, often before a sign is put in the yard. Still, Texas metro areas could experience a slower market toward the end of this year.

Homes are flying off the market, often before a sign is put in the yard. Still, Texas metro areas could experience a slower market toward the end of this year.

Corrected figures from the National Association of Realtors show that Dallas home sales have increased 1.82 percent in the first quarter of 2015 while median price grew 11.99 percent.

Statewide figures show a strong start to 2015 for Texas home sales, with a year-over-year increase of 4.16 percent. Inventory is still an issue, with available homes dropping to an all-time-low of just 3.1 months, which is less than half the supply required for a balanced housing market. That’s a precipitous 8.82 percent decline from the first quarter of 2014. More detailed figures are available through the Texas Association of Realtors.

“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,” explained economist Jim Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “Interest rates are still low, but tight lending standards, rising home prices, and slim inventory have created a tough market for first-time homebuyers.”

It sounds like a good problem to have, right?

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Here we go again: CoreLogic’s latest HPI report is telling us what our boots-on-the-ground Realtor sources already know. Fewer homes on the market has meant higher-than-average home price appreciation ahead of one of the most brisk times of year for Dallas-area Realtors. The spring selling season has been filled with cold calls and pleas from Realtors for homeowners who are on the fence about selling to just get off their duffs and do it.

But, while the limited inventory may be a pain in the posterior for those searching for the right home, it has had one side-effect worth mentioning: Market stabilization.

“Since the second half of 2014, the dwindling supply of affordable inventory has led to stabilization in home price growth, with a particular uptick in low-end home price growth over the last few months,” said CoreLogic chief economist Dr. Frank Nothaft. “From February 2014 to February 2015, low-end home prices increased by 9.3 percent compared to 4.8 percent for high-end home prices, a gap that is three times the historical difference.”

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The Lone Star State isn’t the same place as it was during the big 1980s oil bust, and is better weathering falling oil prices, but further price plunges and worker layoffs could negatively impact home sales and construction.

This is according to new research by Texas A&M Real Estate Center research economist James Gaines, who published Texas 2015 Housing Market and the Price of Oil last week. The six-page report explains that Texas’ economy has diversified significantly since the 80s bust, relying much more on healthcare, technology, and other sectors.

Here’s the takeaway:

The price of Texas oil and the upstream energy sector is a prime cause of concern for Texas’ 2015 economy and housing market. History shows that Texas’ housing does not depend on high oil prices. In fact, the state’s housing market has thrived at prices within a wide range of oil prices lower than those experienced in 2013 and the first half of 2014.

Read the full story over on MidlandDirt.com!

 

 

 

3417 Villanova ext

“Texas is one of the best states to buy a home in the U.S. because it’s one of the best places to work, do business and raise a family. Our state’s lasting job and economic growth continues to bring higher incomes for Texas families and reaffirms new home sales and development as a critical component in meeting market demand,” said Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors.

And TAR’s 2015 Texas Homebuyers and Sellers Report backs up Kesner’s optimism. The median household income of homebuyers in the great state shot up 5.9 percent between July 2013 to June 2014 to $97,500. That’s a much more substantial increase than the national median household income among homebuyers, which increased only 1.4 percent to $84,500.

So, who is buying Texas dirt, and what are they buying? Find out at the jump!

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Case Shiller December 2014

 

Case-Shiller’s recent Dec.2014 report shows home prices inching even further skyward, with an increase of 7.5 percent year-over-year, topping the national average of 4.5 percent by a healthy margin. Shrinking inventory is to blame, but one must wonder if supply will ever catch up at this rate.

“As long as we have a tight sellers’ market, it’s going to be in that area,” said Dr. James Gaines, an economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in this story by Steve Brown. “The good news is it’s not 12 or 15 percent.

“We can live with this for a while.”

But really, can we?

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