Low Inventory Leveling North Texas Home Sales

Low Inventory Leveling North Texas Home Sales

A shortage of houses on the market is keeping a lid on North Texas home sales in 2014.

So far this year, home sales are unchanged from 2013 levels — a dramatic turnabout from months of double-digit sales gains.

“Sales cannot increase significantly because of the lack of supply,” said David Brown, a housing analyst in the Dallas office of Metrostudy Inc.

“Sales will likely be relatively flat or even down this year, unless more homes are listed for sale,” Brown said.

For all of 2013, pre-owned home sales in North Texas were up 17 percent from the previous year. But in January, sales of houses by real estate agents fell by 1 percent from 2013.

And February’s sales of 5,495 pre-owned single-family homes were up only 2 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

The number of pre-owned houses listed for sale with real estate agents in the area has dropped by 12 percent.

“This year there are 2,600 fewer homes listed for sale, and the asking prices are up substantially,” Brown said.

Median home sales prices in North Texas jumped 13 percent in January to $175,000.

Competition for houses is forcing up the price of residential properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to record levels.

“I continue to hear anecdotal reports of strong demand: multiple offers on a property, prices getting bid up above the listing price, and homes selling before they officially hit the market,” Brown said.

“Unless more existing homes get listed or builders start more homes, the housing market will remain very competitive for buyers the remainder of the year,” he said.

The time it takes to sell a house in the more than 24-county region fell by 14 percent in February, averaging just 64 days.

Because of tight supply, the number of pending home sales in North Texas has dropped 8 percent from last year — a sure sign that March’s housing purchases will also be held down.

“Inventory — or lack thereof — is the big constraint on the market,” said Ted Wilson with Residential Strategies. “Even with the tight supply of listings, activity remains robust.

“With the tight supply of existing home listings and constraints on new home construction, we don’t see any near-term declines in house prices.”


(Source – The Dallas Morning News)


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