Even after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, which resulted in 71,000 uninhabitable homes, the Texas housing market experienced a rebound in September 2017, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. The Houston market represents 25 percent of the Texas housing market, and with uninhabitable homes plus 270,000 damaged homes in the Gulf Coast metropolitan statistical areas, additional pressure has been placed on inventory as people search for new places to live. Houston sales postponed from late August to September also were a driving force in increasing Texas home sales 2.6 percent.
Sales did decline in many areas when compared to 2016’s record-breaking sales. Austin experienced a 4.5 percent decline in home sales, and Dallas experienced a 3.6 percent decline. These were more than offset by the 31.8 percent increase in Houston.
Days on the market were 45 in Austin and 51 in San Antonio, both highs for the year. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation reached a yearly low at 3.81 percent.
Homeownership rates have decreased, with the Texas homeownership rate falling below 61.6 percent in the third quarter of 2017. The Center attributed this to a restricted supply for entry-level homes and demographic trends that favor the rental market. Austin’s homeownership reached its lowest level since 2000, hitting 53 percent. Dallas had a rate of 60.3 percent, Houston had a rate of 60.9 percent, and San Antonio had a rate of 63.2 percent.
Pricing continues to be a challenge for entry level buyers, with constricted inventory statewide for homes under $300,000 and record median prices throughout many areas. Appreciation was most noted in Austin and Dallas. Texas median price increased 4.2 percent year to date to $215,000, and Austin median price increased 5.1 percent to $297,900. Austin also had the highest price per square foot with new homes at $136.70 per square foot and resale homes at $147.37 per square foot.
Inventory for the state was steady at 3.8 months, while Austin had an “exceptionally low” inventory level of 2.2 months.