Low mortgage rates and a strong labor market propelled Texas housing sales to record highs in April 2019, according to the latest Texas Housing Insight Report by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. This increased sales activity is counteracting slight inventory gains, and while “momentum is building in the residential supply pipeline as loan values and permit issuance increased,” housing starts are continuing to fall short, according to the report.
Total housing sales in Texas surpassed a record-high of 30,000 in April 2019, with the report crediting lower mortgage rates as a contributing factor. While sales increased across price ranges, a third of the growth was in the $200-$300k range. Homes above $500k, what the report considered the “luxury market,” equaled a quarter of the growth, with over 2,800 homes sold in this category. In all of the major metros, housing sales reached record highs and experienced double digit year-to-date growth.
Median home price in the state of Texas increased 4.1 percent compared to this point in 2018, increasing $2,000 to $238,000. The report noted that while prices are increasing, they are not increasing at the double-digit levels they were in 2017.
Austin’s median home price was $303,800, and Dallas’ median home price was $288,800, with each on a “flat trajectory.” Houston experienced 2.2 percent growth in median home price, with a $241,250 median price; Fort Worth experienced three percent growth, with a $237,100 median; and San Antonio experienced 4.3 percent growth, with a median of $227,300. Within Central Texas, the Texas Repeat Sales Index suggested stronger home price appreciation: Austin at 4.6 percent growth year over year, and San Antonio at 5.2 percent year over year.
With single-family new construction permits, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation, with 3,346 and 3,068 monthly permits, respectively. Austin was fifth in the nation, with 1,790 permits, marking a fifth consecutive monthly increase.