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Texas housing market finally sees increased inventory — even in Austin

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Pascal Lane home
Housing inventory in Austin is finally increasing.  AustinHomeSearch.com

The story right now in the Texas housing market: quarterly gains in inventory for the first time in three years, according to the latest report from the Texas Association of Realtors. Because of a housing shortage in 2014, Texas has not seen the double-digit home sales growth it did last year — but it certainly saw increases in home prices.

“This new increase in inventory is promising,” said Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, in a release. “However, home sales volume continues to keep pace with 2013 — the second-best year ever for Texas real estate — showing that housing demand continues to be very strong throughout the state.”

Housing inventory across the state increased from an all-time low of 3.4 months in the first quarter of 2014 to 3.6 months in Q2. That figure is still a year-over-year decrease of 12.19 percent from the second quarter of 2013, but it’s the first time since 2011 that housing inventory has increased on a quarterly basis.

That increase in inventory led to strong sales for the start of the summer: 81,272 homes were sold in Texas, a 46.67 percent increase over the first quarter of 2014 and 1.13 percent year-over-year increase. During that same time, the median home price jumped 5.87 percent from last quarter to $187,300; the average home price is up 5.28 percent year-over-year to $246,209.

“The development of new homes and vacant lots is on the rise throughout Texas, and as a result we’re seeing much-needed gains in inventory,” said Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

“That said, Texas is still facing an inventory shortage. A steady, ongoing supply of new housing stock — particularly in the first-time and move-up buyer market, where a majority of home sales volume occurs — will be crucial to Texas housing market growth in the second half of 2014 and in the future.”

The report also shows what’s happening in nearly 50 markets within Texas. In Austin, where inventory is still tighter than the statewide average, the numbers for the second quarter of 2014 look like this:

  • 9,152 units sold, an increase of 54.72 percent over last quarter and up 3.48 percent from the same time last year
  • Median price of $243,800, up 6.97 percent over last quarter and up 6.03 percent from the same time last year
  • Average price of $299,087, up 9.83 percent over 1Q2014 and up 5.16 percent over second quarter last year
  • 2.5 months of inventory, up 19.04 percent from last quarter but still down 10.71 percent from last year

You can see the full report online.

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