As the state economy grows and employment continues to rise, how are new home sales in North Texas faring? We have the answers in this week’s roundup of real estate news.
Texas Economy Still Growing Faster Than Nation
The Texas economy is still going like gangbusters, adding 271,000 nonagricultural jobs year-over-year in March, the Texas Real Estate Center’s Monthly Review of the Texas Economy revealed.
That’s an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent, which is better than the national rate of 1.7 percent.
Private sector jobs added 262,300 positions at a growth rate of 2.5 percent, while the nation’s growth rate was 1.9 percent.
Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, dead even with the nation’s rate, and .2 points lower than last March’s rate. The state’s actual unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.
With the exception of Longview, every Texas metro area added jobs, with Midland ranking first, followed by Odessa, Dallas-Plano-Irving, Sherman-Denison, and College Station-Bryan rounding out the top five.
Source: Texas A&M Real Estate Center
Dallas Fed Predicts State Employment Will Grow
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas predicts Texas employment will grow by 1.8 percent in 2019, it said in its Texas Employment Forecast.
The number was arrived at after factoring in March 2019’s employment growth of 2.2 percent year-over-year. The Fed forecasts that the state will add 226,700 jobs this year and that employment will reach almost 13 million by the end of the year.
“After a sharp weakening at the end of 2018, leading indicators of the Texas economy continue to improve, reflecting improved outlooks for the national and global economies and higher oil prices,” said Keith R. Phillips, Dallas Fed assistant vice president and senior economist. “Job growth in the first three months of the year generally was steady at a pace near 2.0 percent—slower than the 2.3 percent growth in 2018.
“While the forecast has improved since January, it still suggests weaker job growth this year than in 2018. The three primary factors facing the Texas economy in 2019 remain historically tight labor markets, moderately lower oil prices and continued uncertainty about trade restrictions.”
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Dallas New Home Market Flat in March
New home sales, prices, and sales pace were flat in March throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, HomesUSA.com’s most recent report compiled from MLS data revealed.
Local pending sales continued to fall last month, with pending new home sales down in all four of the state’s biggest metro new home markets — including DFW, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
“Despite the fact that the Dallas-Ft. Worth new home market was flat in March, we are still seeing a strong overall volume of new home sales here,” said Addison-based Ben Caballero, owner of HomesUSA.com. “Pending home sales are the one troubling number, as there has been a steady decline since September. We will just have to wait and see the long-term impact of lower pending sales,” he added.
The company’s New Home Sales Index showed average days on market remained nearly unchanged from February (115.30 days) to March (115.71) in DFW.
New home sales were a little better, with a 12-month rolling average of 1,344 sales in March, up slightly from 1,339 in February.
But prices were flat, with the average new home price down slightly in March at $373,252, compared to $374,233 the month before. Pending new home sales were also lower in DFW, with a 12-month rolling average of 1,220, compared to 1,293 in February. Statewide those numbers were also down, with pending sales at 3,467 in March and 3,705 in February.