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?
We’re definitely seeing that in Dallas, however, it’s made some close-in neighborhoods ripe for redevelopment. Some areas of East Dallas, Northwest Dallas, and Oak Cliff are seeing an influx of investment, which bodes well for future sales. First quarter 2015 figures show median home prices up 7.8 percent from the same time last year to $186,500. The average price increased almost 7 percent to $240,303 for the same time period. That’s almost double the state’s historical increase of 4.1 percent annually.
“The first quarter of the year is typically a slow period for homebuying and selling, so we were thrilled to see strong home sales gains statewide in the first part of 2015,” said Texas Association of Realtors chairman Scott Kesner. “Market conditions are ripe for another competitive summer selling season in 2015. Texans looking to make a move this summer should begin working with a Texas Realtor now to prepare.”
While I agree with Kesner’s optimism in some areas of Texas, I have to say that not all markets are going to see this kind of competition. Falling oil prices could still have a measurable effect on the housing market, especially in cities.
“The impact of falling oil prices has not yet hit Texas real estate, especially in its metro areas,” Gaines added. “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.”