May 14, 2012 (Shirley Allen)
Sales of existing single-family homes in Texas fell from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012 but were still higher than a year earlier, while home prices remained flat compared to the previous quarter but were also higher than a year ago according to the latest data from the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR).
An estimated total of 45,502 existing single-family homes were sold in the Lone Star State in the first quarter of 2012. That was 3.2 percent lower than the 47,008 homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2011 but still 12.0 percent higher than the 40,621 homes sold in the first quarter of 2011.
The median sales price for an existing single-family home in Texas remained virtually unchanged, declining from $147,900 to $147,100 during the quarter but was 2.7 percent higher than the median price of $143,200 in the first quarter of last year.
Joe Stewart, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, stated, “The watchword for Texas real estate in 2011 was ‘consistency,’ in both sales volume and price. That allowed us to emerge from last year with stable sales volumes and strong property values. Now, in 2012’s first-quarter results, we see a strong increase in sales volume and a meaningful increase in the median price. That indicates positive momentum for the year ahead.”
The amount of homes available for sale declined to a 6.0 months supply in the first quarter, down from a 6.4 months supply in the fourth quarter and a 7.6 months supply in the first quarter of 2010.
Jim Gaines, Ph.D., an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University which analyzes the report for TAR®, said, “We believe several factors are driving the strong performance of the first quarter, including continued job growth in Texas and some increased access to credit for homebuyers. Most of all, we’re starting to see a shift in Texans’ attitudes toward real estate. Essentially, buyers and sellers have higher expectations for the market, so they’re beginning to take action and we’re starting to see the impacts.”
The Houston area posted the most sales during the quarter with 12,936 single-family home sales. That was an increase of 9.4 percent over the 11,823 sales recorded during the same time period last year. The Dallas area followed with 9,582 homes sold which was a 15.6 percent increase over last year.
Out of the 48 areas that provide data for the report, forty-three experienced year-over-year gains in sales with the Paris area posting the highest gain of 45.8 percent while the Harlingen area posted the largest decline of 38.3 percent.
Tags: existing homes, condos, sales, median home prices, Texas
Texas Association of REALTORS®